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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

Self Help Repossession Notices are Often Targeted: The Louisiana Additional Default Remedies Act provides the “self-help” laws permitting creditors to repossess motor vehicles and motorcycles directly.  This is a form of non-judicial repossession that creditors can do themselves.  It can certainly save a creditor some court and legal fees, but certain steps must be carefully followed, especially if the creditor wishes to later pursue a deficiency judgment. Basic Requirements of Repossession Notices: A number of notices or letters must be sent to the debtor in order to properly effect a “self-help” repossession and to later be able to sue the debtor

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

Health Care Decisions without Medical Power of Attorney: If a person is unable to make decisions about personal medical care, some other person must provide direction in decision making.  Many people create a medical power of attorney in advance of any anticipated physical problems.  A power of attorney allows them to appoint an agent or representative to manage their affairs when they become unable to do so themselves.  However, if there is no medical power of attorney in place and no judicially appointed tutor or curator, then health care professionals usually rely on the next of kin or even a close

How Attorneys Collect Foreign Judgments Across State Lines: Debtors often move across state lines.  A judgment in one state is virtually unenforceable if the debtor does not hold property there or is not working there.  When a debtor or assets are discovered in another state, collection attorneys must take extra steps to enforce a foreign judgment in that state. The United States Constitution requires that states give “full faith and credit” to the laws and court judgments of other states.  Most states have therefore enacted laws that provide the procedure for enforcing an out-of-state judgment.  However, the process varies widely

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 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