The financial aspect of any divorce can cause a great deal of stress, regardless of whether you have multiple homes and cars to divide between you or only furniture. Dealing with the uncertainty that comes with the process can cause you to engage in disputes with your divorcing spouse, but these can often be detrimental to the process as a whole.
If you want to get the best financial outcome from your divorce, it's important that you invest your time in understanding how the law applies to your situation. The best place to start is to find out the marital property laws that are in place in your state. The following is an overview of marital property laws in Louisiana.
Louisiana recognizes community property
Louisiana is something of an outlier when it comes to the division of assets at divorce. This is because most states in the country follow equitable distribution guidelines when dividing assets, meaning that they take into account the circumstances of the marriage and the divorce before deciding exactly how marital assets are distributed.
Louisiana, however, recognizes community property. This means that in the majority of circumstances, all marital property will be divided equally between spouses. However, there are considerable exceptions.
The distinction between marital property and separate property
It's important to remember that not all of your assets will be subject to division at divorce. Only marital assets, not separate assets, will be divided according to community property principles. This means that it's particularly crucial that you correctly categorize all property. If you accidentally categorize an asset as marital property when it is in fact your separate property, you could find yourself needlessly giving up half of its value.
Separate property is defined as property that you acquired before the marriage, or gifts, inheritances or damages that you gained during the marriage.
If you are going through a divorce in Louisiana, make sure that you act strategically so that you can optimize your financial outcome.