Baton Rouge Divorce Lawyer
If you’re thinking about getting a divorce, you’re probably already worried about the outcome. Whether the divorce comes from drifting apart, specific hurtful acts, financial irresponsibility of the other spouse, or some combination of factors, you already know that it’s going to be rough on everyone, and you’re right.
What you already know about divorce, child custody, and community property is what you’ve learned from watching your friends and family go through the process, and it’s probably not correct. What you need is an experienced guide through the process – an attorney who’s on your side, who’s knowledgeable, and who’s ready to fight for your rights. Joseph K. Scott, III, is a well-qualified divorce lawyer, who can help you defend what you need to defend and attack where you need to attack.
Splitting up a household is a complicated process. When there are children involved, the stakes are that much higher, and custody, child support, visitation, and restraining orders all come into play. The fact of divorce is often secondary to the concerns of parents about the impact on their children of dissolving the family unit and creating new households. Joseph K. Scott, III, is a husband and a father of two – he understands your concerns and will give you realistic options to follow.
Legal Process of Divorce
The legal process of divorce by itself is variable and has multiple choices to make. You have to decide whether to file immediately and wait out the time delays, or whether to split up and then file after the time delays have run. You may want to seek an immediate divorce on grounds of adultery or conviction of a felony. If you have a Covenant Marriage, you fall under a different set of rules that have steep requirements before you can get divorced.
In each of these options, your initial strategy and who files first can dictate important elements later in the divorce proceeding and ultimately impact your ability to fight for support, alimony, custody, or community property.
Custody trials are expensive, lengthy, and generally rely on competing expert witnesses, but they are not the only way to settle a custody dispute. Private negotiations, professional mediation, custody counseling and other options are available to minimize the confrontation with your spouse or child’s other parent about what to do with the kids. On the other hand, if the other parent isn’t being reasonable, you may have to gear up and go to trial – in which case, you want an experience trial lawyer.
Figuring out community property is a multi-step process. The first step is to figure out which property and debts are community property, and which are separate property. The second step is to calculate the total value of the community’s assets, and subtract the community’s debts. The third step is to divide what remains. In today’s industrial society, the most valuable asset a person has is often his or her retirement funds, followed closely by real estate. The division of retirement funds is a mathematical function set out by the Louisiana Supreme Court, but that only tells you a value on a spreadsheet. The real task is decide who keeps what, by trading values on the spreadsheet until both sides come out equal at the end. Dividing retirement funds often requires the drafting of QDROs or Qualified Domestic Relations Orders, which are lengthy legal documents directed to the employer to tell them how and when to divide the retirement funds.
Child Support and Spousal Support
Child Support and Spousal Support are hotly contested issues in divorce cases. No one wants to pay more than they have to, and everyone wants as much as they can get. No matter which side of the issue you’re on, you need someone who can chase down the hidden income and make the legal arguments about which expenses are reasonable, customary, and required by law. Spousal support isn’t what it used to be, but it’s a distinct possibility, particularly for long marriages or marriages where one spouse will be taking care of children to the exclusion of other activities, such as full-time employment. Joseph Scott has worked these cases before and can help you craft a strategy to maximize your interests, whether it’s getting the money in your account or avoiding paying more than you have to.
Whether you’ve already left the house, or if you’re just thinking about divorce, call Joseph Scott for a low-cost consultation. He’ll take the time to sit down with you, hear your side of the story, and explain the legal process. The decisions you make at the very outset of the divorce process can have long-lasting impact on your ability to get what you need, so get an experienced guide to the legal process with the trial skills to defend your interests if a settlement can’t be reached. Talk to Mr. Scott and get the real story on divorce, custody, property, and support.