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Income and Means that a Divorce Attorney May Consider for Spousal Support in Louisiana

 


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When a spouse in Louisiana hires a divorce attorney, most times there comes the inevitable division of their property and assets. In addition to splitting up property, a Louisiana court may also consider the award of spousal support. Spousal support is the money paid by one spouse to the other spouse for living expenses and other needs. Sometimes a spouse who would otherwise be eligible for spousal support can disqualify themselves from receiving it, for example by committing adultery during the course of the marriage. A spouse already receiving spousal support may also lose their entitlement by their actions, for example by beginning to live with another person “in the manner of married persons. ”

Today’s article deals with the Louisiana Civil Code article 112. This particular part of the Louisiana Civil Code provides guideposts for a Louisiana divorce attorney when it comes to awarding spousal support. Article 112 actually lays out eight separate factors for a court to consider. This article deals specifically with factor (1), which reads that a court shall consider “the income and means of the parties, including the liquidity of such means. ”

It might seem fairly obvious to some people that the relative incomes of former spouses should be a factor in awarding spousal support. If for example one spouse never worked during the marriage and the other spouse was the sole financial provider, then the divorce attorney of the spouse who did not work very well may have a case to argue for spousal support.

Note that factor (1) also tells a Louisiana court to consider the liquidity of such means. One easy way to interpret this language is in the hypothetical instance of a trust. Let’s say that one of the spouses has a trust worth over ten million dollars, but that the trust only pays out to the spouse who owns it in five thousand dollar increments every month. Let’s say that the other spouse has a very low paying job which does not pay much at all. Now, on paper, one spouse in this situation clearly has a lot more money than the other. But because the liquidity of the money (and by that we mean the ability of the owner of that property to turn it into cash equal to its total value) is not very high, a court may not consider the trust as significantly.

Contrast that example with another that a divorce attorney might face, one where one of the spouses earns a salary of ten million dollars a year. In that case, the ten million dollars is substantially more “liquid, ” and so a court may consider it much more relevant than the trust in the previous example.

Factor (1) does not only deal with situations where one of the spouses is rich or has a high paying job and the other does not. This section also suggests that in situations where both spouses have the same or equal income, its relevance may not be as high as the other seven factors under article 112.

If you find yourself in a situation where a spousal award is an issue in your Louisiana divorce, it is a good idea to avoid the guesswork and to hire a divorce attorney.

This article is not legal advice; it is only general information in nature. For more information, or for an analysis of your facts, contact a lawyer. Will Beaumont works out of New Orleans.

Spousal support can be tremendously important for spouses going through a breakup. In New Orleans, divorce attorney Will Beaumont is available for further information on this. He can be found at: Beaumont Divorce, 3801 Canal St #207, New Orleans, LA, 70119 (504) 483-8008 .

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