Divorce is a stressful time for your family, no matter how amicable the split. During a marriage, you’re likely to accumulate property with your partner, whether that be a home, savings accounts or other assets. When it comes to deciding how to separate your property, Louisiana community property laws can add to the stress level if you don’t have the proper legal guidance.
What is an asset?
Assets in a marriage can include
The family home
Bank accounts contributed to by either spouse
Purchases made and used by either spouse
What is community property law in a Louisiana marriage?
In Louisiana, spouses are subject to community property law, meaning every asset and debt acquired by either party in a marriage is property of both spouses. The only separate property in a marriage is property specifically defined as such. In the event spouse makes a purchase in their own name, but uses money from a bank account including contributions from both spouses the asset is considered community property.
How do I split my assets during a divorce?
Figuring out a fair split of your combined debts and assets, spouses must first determine the value of their sum of property. They should consider their current and future value, along with the property’s tax implications, liquidity, and cost basis. From there, you will work to reach an agreement on how to best split the property.
Options for splitting assets include
One spouse buying out the other spouse’s half of an asset
Selling assets and splitting the profit
Continuing to jointly hold property following the divorce
During the process of splitting assets, you’ll review any documents such as prenuptial agreements that guide the distribution of community property following the dissolution of your marriage.
Who gets the marital home in a divorce?
A family home will usually go to the spouse who wins custody of any children involved. However, both spouses have the right to request the house. If the case goes to court, the judge will take into account the value of the property, the need of each spouse and their children, and the amount of purchasing power each spouse had in buying the home.
Is mediation the best way to split assets?
In short, yes. Mediation is faster, more affordable, and friendlier for spouses than going to court over shared property. A Qualified Family Mediator can help spouses receive the property they deserve, while working to ease the tensions that may follow in the dissolution of the marriage.
While we covered some of the basics of splitting community property, the laws involved are quite complex. You should consult an experienced, knowledgeable attorney to ensure that you receive a just and equitable distribution of property. Attorney Lorraine McCormick has vast experience in reaching community property settlements for her clients and successfully litigated community property trials in numerous jurisdictions. Get in touch today to discuss your options.