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Divorce Law: Final Spousal Support in Louisiana, generally

 


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Spousal support is subject to a couple general rules. For one thing, a party will not be entitled to a final support award if a court has found that they are “at fault” for the divorce. “At fault” does not necessarily mean the spouse caused a lot of arguments, or that they always left dirty dishes in the sink. To be “at fault” for a divorce, a spouse needs to have committed a serious transgression. Additionally, the transgression alleged must be proven. Adultery, for example, is one such action which can result in the cheating spouse not being entitled to spousal support.

Another general rule about spousal support is that the paying spouse (also known as the “obligor” spouse) is not required to pay more than one third of their income. This rule is arguably a public policy determination on the part of Louisiana Code writers and legislators who feel that thirty three percent of one’s income is the absolute ceiling for the obligor spouse to be required to pay.

Final spousal support awards are governed in part by the dictates of the Louisiana Civil Code, and specifically article 112. This article lays out eight different factors which a court can consider in a given situation when determining a spousal support award. The factors include: the length of the marriage, the health and age of the spouses, the income of the spouses, the earning ability of the spouses, and child custody involved and the costs associated with that custody arrangement, any debts or obligations which the spouses may have, tax considerations, and also the ability and amount of time which it would take the “obligee spouse” (another name for the spouse who receives the award) to secure employment.

As previously noted, an award of spousal support is by no means automatic following a divorce. There might very well be a situation where both spouses have relatively equal employment and other financial means, and thus do not need the support of the other spouse at all.

Under Louisiana Civil Code article 115, there are also a few ways for the spousal award to be terminated. They include the remarriage of the oblige spouse to another person, the death of one of the spouses, and also a finding by a Louisiana court that the obligee spouse has been cohabitating with another person “in the manner of married persons. ” Note, however, the remarriage of the obligor spouse following divorce does not necessarily mean that the support stops. The obligee may also voluntarily terminate the spousal support award on their own accord, subject to procedural requirements.

The above is provided as general information on the law - this is not legal advice. Please consult with an attorney for any legal questions. William H. Beaumont. New Orleans and Metairie, Louisiana.

One of the major concerns in ending a marriage is the amount of final spousal support that must be paid. Check with a New Orleans divorce lawyer to learn more. One such person can be found in southeast Louisiana at the Law Office of William H. Beaumont.

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