When a couple in the state of Louisiana decides to file for divorce, the general thought is that each person will retain the rights to any assets they brought to the marriage. Also, it is only the communal assets – the ones that were purchased or acquired together – that are divided. Unfortunately, this entire process can be somewhat complicated and is very rarely black and white.
Dividing Assets During the Divorce: Important Information
When a person is planning on getting married, they need to document their individual assets ahead of time. Unfortunately, because so many people think they will never get divorced and are extremely excited about the upcoming event, they don’t take the time to perform this task. A good rule of thumb is to have the valuation of property handled by a professional, rather than using estimates from the bride or groom, friends or family members.
Additionally, if an asset increases in value during the course of the marriage, the increase is typically considered community property. This is true even for assets that are not easily liquidated such as collectibles and real estate. However, even in these situations there are exceptions to the rule. One example is if one person owns a separate home they retain after the marriage and it increases in value due to market appreciation. This is not considered communal. However, if one of the individuals in the marriage does some type of service that results in the increase in value, and they are under- or uncompensated, they are entitled to receive half.
Assets Not Considered Community Property in a Divorce
Other assets that come into the marriage may not be community property either. For example, if one spouse receives an inheritance, it is not considered community property. Also, receiving an insurance settlement for pain and suffering of one spouse only isn’t community property; however, any compensation for lost wages is considered community property.
The fact is, wages for any source, and any compensation related to them, are usually considered community property, even if one of the spouses worked, while the other did not. The reason for this is because it is presumed by the court that the other spouse did work, inside of the home, supporting the working spouse and raising the children. The person just was not directly compensated.
Hiring an Attorney for Help with Community Party Distribution in a Divorce
The fact is, determination and division of community property can be extremely complex. Any discussions regarding assets are often complicated, heated and prolonged during a divorce. As a result, it is a good idea to hire an attorney to help with the process. An attorney will be able to ensure that all property is properly distributed and that everyone involved gets the assets and property they are entitled to receive.
Additional help and information regarding filing for divorce and dividing community property can be found by contacting the attorneys from Joubert Law by calling 225-761-3822.