If you are getting divorced in Louisiana, one of the things you will need to figure out is how to divide your property. This can be a complicated process, and it is important to make sure that you are fully aware of your rights, what you can expect and what you should do.
How do the courts divide property in a divorce?
In general, the courts will divide property in a Louisiana divorce based on the principle of “community property.” This means that all property acquired during the marriage is typically considered to be owned equally by both spouses, and should get divided evenly between them.
However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if one spouse owned property before the marriage, that property may be considered “separate property” and would not be subject to division.
Another exception has to do with gifts and inheritances. Gifts and inheritances received by one spouse during the marriage are also considered separate property and are not subject to division.
What if my spouse and I can’t agree on how to divide our property?
If you and your spouse are unable to reach an agreement on how to divide your property, the court will make the decision for you. The court will consider a number of factors in making its decision. The first one is the “contribution” of each spouse to the marriage. This includes things, like financial contributions, as well as non-financial contributions, such as raising children or taking care of the home.
The court will also look at each spouse’s “need” for certain types of property. For example, if one spouse owns a business and the other spouse does not, the court may award the business to the spouse who owns it.
Another factor the court will consider is whether either spouse has committed “marital misconduct.” This can include things, like adultery or domestic violence. If one spouse has committed marital misconduct, that spouse may be less likely to receive a favorable property division.
Ultimately, the court will make a decision on property division that it believes is “fair” to both spouses. The process can get complicated, but understanding these basic principles can help you know what to expect.