Divorce Attorney: Louisiana Community Property

Nov 2


Will Beaumont

Will Beaumont

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It can hardly seem bad to understand more about Louisiana's community property. Here are some key points.

In Louisiana,Divorce Attorney:  Louisiana Community Property Articles a judgment ending the marriage generally terminates a community property regime. (There can be some confusion in that there are certain types of petitions that can end the community property regime retroactively to the date of filing, if the actual end of the marriage happens validly within the required period of time.) In Louisiana, we have a community property regime. This is the default regime generally, unless spouses opt (often with the assistance of a divorce attorney) out of this.

A community property regime means typically that everything earned during the marriage could and/or may be likely to be considered part of the community property regime. It is typically assumed that things in possession of a spouse during the marriage are presumed to be a part of the community property regime. However, that presumption can be rebutted on showing the appropriate evidence.

After the judgment ending the marriage has been rendered, dividing the community property can be contentious and highly acrimonious. (It should be noted that it can sometimes be possible to divide community prior to the end of the marriage.) For example, Chuck and Diana get married and subsequently file to end their marriage with the assistance of a divorce attorney. In partitioning community property regime, a trial court is taught to determine whether or not the house was Chuck's separate property or it was community property. Before Chuck was married, Chuck's father gave Chuck the house which was subsequently used as that matrimonial domicile.

However during the marriage, Chuck took out a second mortgage on property. Chuck was unable to pay the mortgage. As a result, Diana paid off half of the mortgage while Chuck got his father to pay the other half. Chuck states that the house is his separate property because he purchased it before he got married. However Diana is asserting that the property is half hers and she paid off half of the newly acquired mortgage. So the question becomes what might a court do in this particular case and how might a divorce attorney view it?

If Chuck does not have any assets of any a bad guy for her contribution to the mortgage, and the court may very well order that the house to be sold and the proceeds divided accordingly. Hence, this is why it is very important to have a divorce attorney or other lawyer who understands the law of community property in Louisiana. All earnings during the marriage are considered community property. Therefore, everything Chuck earned during the marriage is half Diana's.

Let's look at another hypothetical. Before Chuck and Diana were married, Diana's parents gave Diana a $200,000 yacht. Because she never used it, she decided to sell it during the marriage. Chuck is now arguing that the proceeds from the sale of the yacht should be half his. Unfortunately for Chuck he will lose this argument. Because Diana acquired the yacht before the marriage, the proceeds from the sale of her separate property remain her separate property through the principle of real subrogation. Therefore Chuck is not entitled to anything in regard to the proceeds of the yacht.

Will Beaumont is a New Orleans divorce attorney. This article is informational, not legal advice.