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How is marital property divided during a Louisiana divorce?

On Behalf of | Nov 1, 2023 | Family Law |

The idea of divorce makes many people anxious even if they feel like their marriage is no longer serving their interests. People frequently worry about what will become of their relationships and their finances if they move forward with a divorce filing.

Almost everyone has heard some terrible story about an individual deprived of their most valuable resources and struggling to rebuild financially for years after a divorce. Yet, when individuals understand the Louisiana approach to property division, they may feel more confident about changing their marital status and moving on from a relationship that isn’t working.

Louisiana has a community property law

Louisiana is among a minority of states that employ a community property approach to all marital assets and income. Unless people have a marital agreement on record discussing how they will divide their assets, they will need to negotiate an arrangement with each other or have a judge review an inventory of their property and divide their belongings.

Community property division generally begins with a presumption that a 50/50 division of assets is the appropriate solution. However, that does not mean that a judge has to divide every asset in half. They can instead try to balance what they award to each spouse based on the overall value of the marital estate, and spouses generally have no means of predicting what a judge will do with specific property or financial obligations.

Couples can set their own terms

Those who worry that community property division efforts would deprive them of equity in their home or an ownership interest in a business they helped develop might have more motivation than the average person to settle the matter with their spouse outside of court. Some couples even attend mediation to resolve disagreements about property division.

Those who reach their own determinations about property division can move forward with an uncontested divorce filing where they have control over the outcome. Oftentimes, the community property statutes the courts would apply can influence how spouses and their lawyers handle the negotiation process. Although, learning about the rules that govern Louisiana divorces may ultimately benefit those preparing for the end of a marriage, regardless of whether an individual’s divorce process is likely to be amicable or contentious. After all, knowledge is power.