The Importance of Domiciliary Parent Status: Louisiana provides joint custody of children between the mother and father in most situations. Joint custody is presumed by the courts to be in the best interest of the children and is awarded regularly. Sole custody can be awarded but is much less common than joint custody in Louisiana unless there is an extenuating circumstance leading to the need for sole custody. While joint custody may be favored by the Louisiana court system, it does not mean, however, that both parents will exercise equal physical time with the children. In the majority of cases,
Successions When a Legatee or Heir Dies: Successions are either intestate or testate. Intestate successions occur when there is no will, the will is invalid, or the will does not dispose of all the decedent’s property. Testate successions occur when there is a valid notarial or olographic will. An heir is a person who inherits property in an intestate succession. A legatee is a person who is bequeathed property in a testate succession. In Louisiana there are three ways to inherit: (1) in his or her own right, (2) via representation, or (3) via transmission. An heir inherits in his or her
Contesting Intra-Family Adoption There are many steps and tests required by law in contested adoption proceedings. These can mainly be found in the Louisiana Children’s Code, with which our firm is very familiar. The Louisiana Children’s Code was drafted to combine all the laws affecting juvenile court jurisdiction, resolve ambiguities, reconcile conflicting laws, ensure that statutory law accurately reflects settled case law and provide a single code containing procedural and substantive laws affecting juveniles. Some interesting concepts are articulated in these cases and may be useful in your case too: When a stepparent or parent with custody fails to cooperate with
Inheriting Mortgaged Property In most instances, the estate debts must be fully paid during the succession proceedings. However, some debts such as mortgages are not easily paid in full. Clients often ask if they have to refinance when they inherit property with a mortgage. Heirs generally have a few options when inheriting mortgaged property. The property can be sold and the sale proceeds can pay off the mortgage. Other assets in the succession can be used to pay off the mortgage. The succession can be renounced, in which case the property will likely be foreclosed on if there are no
Reconciliation Per La. Civ. Code art. 104, “[t]he cause of action for divorce is extinguished by the reconciliation of the parties.” The concept of “reconciliation” can be thorny and confusing for a spouse who has filed for divorce. If you are in doubt as to what to do, where to reside, or how to interact with your spouse during the pendency of your divorce, it would be wise to retain counsel and discuss this issue with your attorney. Our family law attorneys are able to clearly and thoroughly advise you of the “dos and don’ts” of dealing with your ex.
Forced Heirship and Collation Forced heirship is unique to Louisiana and can dramatically impact your estate plan. Likewise, collation can have a profound impact on the forced portion and on your succession proceedings. Forced heirship is designed to prevent a person from disinheriting certain children or grandchildren. It was born under the presumption that parents desire to treat their children equally. What is forced heirship? Per La. Civ. Code art. 1494, a forced heir must receive a portion of their parent’s estate. This is so regardless of a will or trust to the contrary. For example, if a will leaves
Ex Parte Orders Ordinarily, courts issue orders regarding custody after hearing evidence at a trial. However, most family law practitioners know of and have utilized the ex parte emergency order of temporary custody. In emergency situations a parent may file a petition asking for temporary custody, and a court may issue an ex parte order awarding emergency temporary custody prior to a formal hearing. It is an effective tool if the procedural requirements are followed closely and used only in instances of exigent circumstances. Immediate and irreparable harm under La. Code of Civil Procedure: La. Code Civ. Proc. art. 3945
Buy-Sell Agreements Owners of closely held businesses may not think about what will happen when a co-owner wants to sell his or her interests in the business, unexpectedly passes away, files for bankruptcy, or goes through a divorce. If you don’t know what would happen to your business and its ownership in one of these situations, you should consider a buy-sell agreement or amending your existing business documents. Afterall, preparation and planning are essential to sustaining any business. These situations do not need to disrupt your business operations. Buy-sell agreements allow owners to avoid costly litigation while preserving their involvement in the
Importance of Power of Attorney Most people recognize the importance of comprehensive estate planning, although they may choose to avoid it for as long as possible. One important part of your estate plan is your power of attorney (POA). Basically, a POA is a document that empowers an individual to make legal decisions for you in the event that you become incapacitated or are unable to do so for yourself. You can choose the extent of the authority you grant in the “agent” by working together with an experienced estate planning attorney to determine how to best represent your goals.
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) regulates the collection practices of third-party debt collectors and law firms engaged in collections. The FDCPA is found at 15 USC 1692 et seq. It was designed to protect consumers by eliminating abusive, deceptive, and unfair debt collection practices. It also protects reputable debt collectors and law firms from unfair competition. Below is a comprehensive outline of restrictions and requirements that debt collectors must follow to ensure FDCPA compliance. When does the FDCPA apply? The FDCPA applies only to the collection of debt incurred by a consumer primarily