In Louisiana, there are two types of "Spousal Support" (sometimes called "Alimony"). The first is called "Temporary Support" (also called "Alimony Pendente Lite" or "Alimony Pending Litigation") and is awarded to a spouse who does not have sufficient income for his or her maintenance pending the divorce. The most important factor here is the standard of living which existed during the marriage. Temporary Support is designed to maintain the status quo of both spouses' living conditions to the extent that is possible. The second type of spousal support is "Post-Divorce Spousal Support" (also called "Permanant Alimony"). Post-Divorce Spousal Support is designed to provide the needy ex-spouse with the basic necessities of life. Post-Divorce Spousal Support can be awarded to an ex-spouse who: - Is found to be free from fault in the breakdown of the marriage; and - Does not have sufficient means for his or her own support. Note that the fault of the paying party is irrelevant to the issue of spousal support. The needy spouse must show that he or she is FREE FROM FAULT, but it matters not whether or not the paying spouse is at fault or not. Also note that, in determining whether or not a party has sufficient means for their own support, a court may allocate income to the needy party above his or her actual income if the needy party is "voluntarily" unemployed or underemployed. There are no statutory guidelines for deciding what constitutes "fault" for purposes of alimony, however, courts have routinely used jurisprudence and former articles of the Civil Code Articles dealing with "fault" in the context of divorce to decide the issue. To see an example of SOME of the factors constituting "fault", see Louisiana Civil Code Article 103.The amount of Post-Divorce Spousal Support is decided based on the needy party's needs and the payor's ability to pay.
Unless the parties entered into a matrimonial agreement (often called a "prenuptual agreement"), the general rule is that everything acquired by the spouses during the marriage is owned by them equally.Community property is that which is accqured during the marriage through the effort, shill or industry of either spouse, such as wages and employee benefit plans, property donated to the spouses jointly and other property not classified as "separate." Property owned before marriage, individual gifts during marriage and inherited property are "separate property" and generally NOT subject to division.The best situation is one where the parties can agree to an equitable division of their property. In situations where the parties cannot agree, the court will determine values and then divide all assets and liabilities so each spouse receives one-half of the net value of the estate.
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