WHAT ROLE DOES SPOUSAL SUPPORT PLAY IN LOUISIANA DIVORCES?
What role does spousal support play in Louisiana divorces?
During your marriage, there might have been a disparity between you and your spouse’s incomes. Or, you might have left the workforce to raise your children, and they were your family’s breadwinner. In either case, you may worry about whether you can support yourself as you two separate and divorce. Yet, your circumstances could make you eligible for spousal support in Louisiana.
Types of spousal support in Louisiana
Louisiana recognizes two different types of spousal support. Your spouse may pay you interim support if you need help meeting your expenses during your separation. Once your divorce finalizes, you will receive final periodic support, so long as you were not at fault for your marriage’s breakdown. Final periodic support will last for as long as you need it, or until you remarry or cohabit with a new partner. It will also terminate if you or your spouse dies.
Factors impacting spousal support in Louisiana
One surprising factor that could affect your spousal support award is whether you were at fault for your marriage’s breakdown. If your marriage ended because you committed adultery or you received a felony conviction, your spouse could file a fault-based divorce in Louisiana. In these cases, the court may bar you from receiving spousal support.
If your divorce is not fault-based, the value and duration of your spousal support award will depend on more traditional factors. These may include:
- The length of your marriage
- You and your spouse’s age and health
- You and your spouse’s income, earning capacity and means
- Whether you or your spouse’s share of custody will affect your earning capacity
- Whether you need job training or education to become self-sufficient
- The tax consequences of your spousal support award
If your spouse has a history of domestic abuse, their actions could impact your award as well. In most cases, your award cannot exceed one-third of their net income. If domestic abuse is a factor, you may receive a greater share of it.
When fighting for spousal support, you must acknowledge the factors that will affect its value and duration. Keeping these in mind, a family law attorney can help you work toward an award that reflects your specific needs.