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Naming a Tutor in your Will is a Crucial Step: It’s difficult to think about the situation where a young child loses both of his or her parents, but this is the time when a tutor would step in to take care of the child.  Naming a tutor is often overlooked when preparing a last will and testament, especially when someone writes their own will.  In many instances though, naming a tutor is the main reason for writing a will.  It is not uncommon for someone’s final wishes to coincide with the default laws of intestacy. For instance, perhaps a

Issues to Consider Regarding Finances in Divorce: Generally speaking, a divorce will have a profound impact on your finances both now and in the future.  As Louisiana is a community property state, all property is presumed to be community unless proven otherwise, meaning essentially half of your net worth could be exposed via trial or in a final settlement.  Furthermore, you might also be responsible for paying a joint debt that you didn’t know about or play a role in accruing. Tips for Paying Off Joint Debts When a Marriage Ends: It might be in your best interest to make

Louisiana Grandparent Visitation and Custody Considerations: If your grandchildren live with you already or you have concerns about their home life, you may want to seek legal custody or visitation.  Louisiana allows grandparents to take this step in certain situations.  Review the factors that affect grandparent visitation and custody before moving forward with this process.  Circumstances Warranting Grandparent Visitation: One can petition a Louisiana court in the parish where your grandchild lives for legal visitation if:  Your grandchild’s parents have divorced or lived apart for at least six months; One or both of your grandchild’s parents has died, gone to prison,

Continuing Tutorships and Child Interdictions: A “Continuing Tutorship” is a legal proceeding for special needs children with intellectual disabilities who are age 15, 16, or 17.  The legal standard states that when the child “possesses less than two-thirds of the intellectual functioning of a person of the same age with average intellectual functioning…”  The parents or children usually do not have to make a court appearance.  Based on the documentation given to the court to prove the intellectual disability of the child (usually IEP evaluations/IQ tests, medical and school records), and with the concurrence of the coroner (via a signed

What is Child Support in Louisiana? Child support is a court-ordered amount that the non-custodial parent must pay to the custodial parent to cover a proportionate amount of the child’s expenses, including housing and utilities, food, clothing, and education expenses. Both parents have an obligation to support their children after a divorce. State laws differ greatly as to how courts calculate child support payments. Louisiana long has recognized and credited the custodial parent’s day-to-day care as a significant portion of the support obligation. Child support orders may be modified only by another court order and usually depend on the amount

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,

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

Reconciliation After Divorce: 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

Ex Parte Orders in Custody Proceedings: 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.

Collaborative Law: The philosophy of our firm is to offer people an alternative, when possible, to the traditional litigation model of dispute resolution. The key issue is not who is right or wrong, but how can the issues presented (often caused by an inability to effectively communicate and financial stress) be reconciled by the parties themselves under the guidance of certified professionals through the Collaborative Law process or via Mediation. In our opinion, the obligation of a family lawyer is to facilitate the settlement of conflict and to carefully evaluate the responsibility of each party to bring the subject matter