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Baton Rouge Divorce Lawyer

The Cosenza Law Firm understands the needs of divorcing couples. Good advice is the first thing they need.

When a couple separates or divorces, the law governs custody of children, child support and the support of a needy spouse. The law also governs the division of marital property and marital debt. There are laws that determine when you may divorce, the procedure you must follow, and what proof you need. If you or your family lives in the Baton Rouge area, you should consult a Baton Rouge divorce lawyer. The Cosenza Law Firm is ready to assist you.

Sometimes there has never been a family unit. Children may be born to parents who hardly know each other. Fathers may deny paternity and refuse to pay child support. Single mothers and single fathers may struggle with the burdens of parenthood. Grandparents may find themselves raising their grandchildren. The law provides relief to these children and to the people who are raising them. A Baton Rouge family attorney can assist you with these problems.

Divorce

Louisiana has “no fault” divorce. However, the law requires a spouse who wants a divorce to live apart from the other spouse for a period of time. If there are children, the separation must last for at least 365 days. If there are no children, the required period of separation is 180 days. There are different rules and longer waiting periods for “covenant” marriages.

Louisiana also has “fault” divorce.. The “fault” that entitles a spouse to an immediate divorce is adultery, conviction of domestic abuse, or conviction of a serious crime and imprisonment.

Child Custody

Louisiana law presumes that joint custody is in a child’s best interest. This does not mean that in all cases courts will split physical custody 50-50. It does mean that courts will encourage custody plans that maximize each parent’s opportunity to be with their child.

In joint custody, courts usually appoint one of the parents to be the “domiciliary” parent. The “domiciliary” parent has the authority to make important decisions in the child’s life such as where the child goes to school and what doctor he or she sees. If the non-domiciliary parent believes the domiciliary parent is doing the wrong thing, he or she can go to court and ask the judge to intervene.

In contested cases, judges may order an evaluation of one or both parents. The purpose of the evaluation is to provide the judge with expert opinions concerning what kind of custody arrangement will most benefit the child. The goal is always to achieve a custody plan that enhances the child’s well being.

Child Support

The amount of child support one parent pays to the other depends on factors such as:

  • The combined gross monthly income that the parents earn.
  • The number of children that must be supported.
  • The type of custody (e.g. sole, joint, or shared).
  • The cost to provide health insurance and childcare.

With this information, courts use tables to calculate child support. Judges may not deviate from the tables without very good reasons. In the vast majority of cases, if the table says a parent must pay $X in child support, that is what the judge awards.

Parents who work overtime, are self-employed , or work on a commission basis may not have stable income. In such cases, judges usually look at the parent’s earnings history to come up with a fair figure. For such parents, there is rarely a perfect solution. However, a parent whose circumstances deteriorate can return to court and ask for relief. The same rule applies if a parent begins to earn significantly more money. The other parent can always return to court and ask for more.

Marital Property

Married couples are subject to Louisiana’s community property regime. In this regime, spouses are co-owners of all property acquired during marriage and co-obligors for all community debt. Upon divorce, spouses will usually want to divide up their former community of assets and obligations.

Married people may own more than one type of property. They may owe debt to more than one creditor. It can be difficult to achieve a fair division of multiple pieces of property and numerous debts. The law gives judges flexibility when dividing things up between the spouses. A spouse who is awarded the former family home may be ordered to pay the mortgage. If there is only debt, the judge may order each party to pay particular ones so that each pays 50% of the whole.

If a Baton Rouge court granted your divorce, consult with an attorney serving the Baton Rouge area about your property issues.

Alimony

The phrase “spousal support” has replaced the term “alimony” but the concept remains the same. There are two kinds – interim and final.

Interim support may be awarded to a spouse if (1) he or she is not able to maintain the economic status quo after a separation occurs and (2) the other spouse is able to pay it. Interim support does not go on indefinitely. It ends upon divorce although it may continue for a period of time if the court is considering a request for final support.

Final support is the exception not the rule. Divorced spouses are expected to return to the marketplace and earn a living. Those who lack job skills may receive a monthly payment for a limited period of time while they train for a job. Sometimes a spouse is unable to work because of age or health. In such cases, final alimony may be awarded for a longer period of time. However, in all cases, the person seeking final support must be without financial means. A person who can sell assets to support himself is expected to do so.

High Net Worth Cases

Couples living in the Baton Rouge area who have high salaries or who have accumulated wealth have special needs when it comes to divorce. Their marital estates may include a family home as well as commercial real estate, interests in one or more businesses, art or antique collections, trusts, life insurance, and annuities. There may be serious tax consequences to manage. There may be significant exposure for interim or final spousal support. Dividing these marital estates and deciding on when to pay spousal support and how much often requires the assistance of experts such as CPAs and appraisers. A Baton Rouge divorce attorney with the Cosenza Law Firm can assist you with the division of your marital estate.

Your Next Step

The information provided above is not a substitute for sound legal advice. If you are in a dispute with your partner or spouse about your marriage, children, or property, you should always consult with a lawyer who practices family law. A family law attorney with the Cosenza Law Firm can evaluate your facts in light of the applicable law and give you options for action. Call them today at 225-381-8181.

Family Law is all We Do

We understand the specific needs and problems of the family law client. We know how judges approach family law matters. We know the law. Because our practice is devoted exclusively to family law, we concentrate our efforts on what is important to you. Competing demands upon an attorney’s time are important factors to consider when shopping for a lawyer.

The Cosenza Law Firm promises that your family law case will get our full attention.

What Our Clients Say
★★★★★
I highly recommend Louis
I hired Louis to represent me in my custody battle. From the start he was upfront and honest with me, if he said he was going to do something he did it and he never attempted to settle for anything less than what I was asking. He was not afraid to go head to head with opposing counsel which is what we ended up having to do. Thanks to Louis and his experience and knowledge of family law we won our case. I highly recommend Louis and will always use him for my future family Court needs.
Caleb
★★★★★
Brilliant Mind and Excellent Communication
I had no idea how to even look for an attorney when I found myself needing one. Mr. Cosenza is the best attorney I have encountered, and I took a lot of time finding one. He is brilliant in matters of the law. He approached my case from every angle. I am so thankful he was my attorney. I started out knowing absolutely nothing about court related matters. He answered even my smallest questions and guided me through to understand what was best for me and my children. He was excellent in communication with quick replies. He will have all of my recommendations.
Becky
★★★★★
Attorney Cosenza at his craft
My journey with Mr. Cosenza began nearly 3 years ago when I contacted him about divorce proceedings. During our initial consultation he told me exactly what to expect and we discussed cost, which I thought reasonable. After retaining him as my attorney and finalizing my divorce, things became fairly intense during the negotiation of the property settlement; yet he was relentless and tenacious. In the end, we prevailed victorious and everything came together perfectly. Attorney Cosenza always responded in a timely manner to my many calls, emails and texts. He gave clear, detailed, rational explanations of what I could expect. His work on my case has been life changing, in the best way possible. I am forever in his debt.
Sean
★★★★★
He does his very best
Working with Louis Cosenza truly helped to make my very difficult emotional and legal situation feel much more comfortable as I knew his experience and expertise was there to support and guide me. He knows the law and he does his very best to use that knowledge to represent his clients in and out of the courtroom.
Craig
★★★★★
Hands down the best experience I’ve had with a lawyer
I would like to start by saying I am from TX and my ex wife tried to file a judgment in LA. I contacted a number of lawyers that explained to me that this maybe a process that they could look into. I spoke with Mr. Cosenza with his 30 plus year of experience and he assured me this was not going to be a issue. He was very informative on the proceedings that where going to take place. He couldn’t have called it any better. There wasn’t even a need for me to travel to show in court. It is definitely worth a little extra to hire one of the best. I hope I hope won’t be needing his help again but if I do need another lawyer in LA. I won’t hesitate to contact him and he will be my lawyer again.
Michael
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  1. 1 Over 40 Years Experience
  2. 2 Personalized Legal Representation
  3. 3 Serving the Greater Baton Rouge Area
Fill out the contact form or call us at 225-647-6644 to schedule your consultation.