General Divorce Lawyer Information -- Community Property and Separate Property in Louisiana

Mar 2 08:16 2012 Will Beaumont Print This Article

This article explains, in a very general sense, the definitions of community and separate property in Louisiana.  For more tailored answers to property questions, you will likely have to contact a divorce lawyer or other attorney.

For a Louisiana divorce lawyer,Guest Posting one important consideration is the interplay between community property and separate property. Sometimes a married couple can have an elaborate network of intertwined earnings, property holdings, dividends, and other property interests. If a couple is going to end their marriage, obviously these interests need to be divided in a fair way, and according to their respective ownership rights.

In Louisiana, when a divorce lawyer says "community property" this is generally property that is shared equally between the two spouses. The fact that it is shared equally means a few different things. For one, it means that spouses probably need the authorization of the other spouse before they make any decisions regarding selling that piece of property. For another thing, sharing community property equally means that, if the marriage ends, they are going to split the property "right down the middle." Although it is impossible to go down the whole list of ways for couples to accumulate community property, there are probably a few generalities we can make here. Assets and earnings that the spouses make during the course of the marriage are probably going to be community property. Spouses can also donate things that were formally their separate property to the community property regime.

To a divorce lawyer, separate property is not shared equally between the spouses; it is the sole property of the spouse who possesses it. As is the case with community property, there are lots of specific examples and exceptions regarding what are separate property. That said, there are a few general ways to identify it for the purposes of this article. For example, inheritances or donations made to one spouse are typically separate property. Keep in mind that those inheritances and donations, to be "separate" must in fact be made to only one of the spouses. If for example a deceased relative devises one hundred thousand dollars to "husband and wife to share equally" then that donation is going to be, most likely, community property.

Separate property is also generally property which one of the spouses acquired before getting married to the other spouse. To a divorce lawyer, it is not uncommon for parties to a marriage to enter into the relationship with pre-existing assets. A summer home, for example, that the wife in a marriage bought before marrying the husband, is likely her separate property.

The relationship between separate and community property can get even trickier when the spouses mix the different types of property. For example, if one spouse uses their separate property to improve community property.

Keep in mind that community property is shared between spouses, and so are "community obligations." In Louisiana, some debts incurred by the spouses during the course of their marriage are automatically taken on by the other spouse. This is probably the case if the obligation is one taken on for the benefit of both spouses, or for the other spouse (that is, the spouse incurring the obligation does so not for their own benefit, but only for the other spouse's benefit.)

If you are in need of dividing your property with your former spouse, it is typically best that you consult with a Louisiana divorce lawyer. Will Beaumont practices family law in New Orleans, LA. This article is purely informational; it is not designed to be taken as legal advice.

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Will Beaumont
Will Beaumont

Outside of child custody, community property can be one of the most contentious areas of family law. In order to understand what you should be getting under the law, contact New Orleans divorce lawyer Will Beaumont for more information at: Beaumont Divorce, 3801 Canal St #207, New Orleans, LA, 70119 (504) 483-8008.

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