The work of a divorce attorney can be messy and complicated rife with emotional grievances and personal disputes. Many issues involving child custody, the division of property, and spousal support may become very contentious. Here in Louisiana, we have the Louisiana Civil Code, which is a collection of laws which help courts come to equitable conclusions regarding these divisive issues.
This article deals specifically with the award of final spousal support. This is generally money which one spouses gives to the other spouse after the end of the marriage. It is not always required, and there are numerous ways that the spouse who is eligible for the award may lose their entitlement to receive it. That said, Louisiana Code article 112 deals with some criteria that a court should consider before awarding spousal support. Because the general idea of spousal support is to allow a spouse the ability to continue living similarly to the way that they did while they were married, article 112 has a number of common sense factors to guide a divorce attorney which deal with the relative worth, income, health, and other things which dictate how the spouses lived in a financial sense while married.
This article deals specifically with one of the aforementioned factors, factor number (2), which explains that a court should consider “the financial obligations of the parties” when awarding spousal support – and this factor may also guide a divorce attorney. In Louisiana an “obligation” can be mean different things. Generally, an obligation is some type of debt or other financial responsibility that a person might have. Factor number 2 tells a Louisiana court that they should take a look at the obligations of the spouses before awarding spousal support.
It is clear why it would be a good idea for a court to look at the obligations of a husband and wife. There could be situations where it would be both unfair and unjust for a spouse to either pay or to receive money from the other spouse given their debt situation. For example, let’s say that one spouse has taken out loans in order to educate themselves. The loans are substantial. Let’s also say that that same spouse was the sole earning party to the marriage, and that the other spouse did not work at all while they were married. Factor (2) suggests that a court and a divorce attorney might consider the fact that the spouse with the loans has a serious financial burden, and although they were the one who worked during the marriage, they may not be forced to pay as much in spousal support given their financial obligations.
Let’s consider an example on the opposite side of the coin. Let’s say that there are two spouses, one who works and makes a good deal of money, and another who works very little and does not make much. Let’s also say that the spouse who does not work much took out a modest loan, partially dependent on the assurance that their spouse would help them with the loan repayments. Under factor (2), that spouse very well might have their spousal award enhanced to reflect the financial obligation which they had previously incurred.
Will Beaumont is a divorce attorney that practices in New Orleans, La. The above article broadly covers aspects of the law, and it is only for general information purposes. For more on the law as it applies to you, consult a lawyer for more tailored information on your case.
Spousal support in Louisiana is not designed to result in one spouse being insolvent in order to compensate the other spouse. If your are faced with a spousal support case, consult with New Orleans divorce attorney Will Beaumont at Beaumont Divorce, 3801 Canal St #207, New Orleans, LA, 70119 (504) 483-8008 .