Southwest Louisiana matrimonial attorneys offer personalized guidance
During a divorce, you deserve a lawyer who is committed to and capable of safeguarding your interests and those of your children. For more than 85 years, Stockwell, Sievert, Viccellio, Clements & Shaddock, L.L.P. in Lake Charles has served people throughout Southwest Louisiana facing divorce and its related challenges. We give clients the advice and advocacy they need to make a new start successfully.
Knowledgeable advisers outline the various marriage dissolution options
Most Louisiana marriages can be dissolved on a no-fault basis if spouses have lived separately for a certain amount of time. This period is six months for childless couples and one year for spouses with at least one minor child. If you entered into a covenant marriage, you must either allege a specific type of misconduct, such as adultery or abandonment, or wait through a longer separation period. Based on your circumstances and objectives, our experienced family law attorneys will counsel you on legal standards and options such as:
- Uncontested divorce — If you and your spouse agree on all terms relating to property division, alimony, child custody and child support, our firm can help you file for an uncontested divorce that includes a marital settlement agreement. Even when there are no conflicts, complicated rules and paperwork can cause problems if you lack knowledgeable legal guidance.
- Mediation — As both mediators and advocates in family law cases, we’ve seen how beneficial the guidance of a qualified third party can be even when parties are far apart on property division, parenting arrangements and other issues.
- Collaborative divorce — Another option for married couples who are breaking up but want to avoid courtroom battles is collaborative divorce. During this process, the parties and their lawyers work together to share information, bring in professional assistance where needed and develop an agreement that can be incorporated into the dissolution order. Unlike mediation, there is no third party to administer the proceedings.
- Property division — Under the state’s community property standard, assets accumulated during a marriage are considered to be owned equally by both spouses. Exceptions can exist for gifts or inheritances left to one partner. While bank accounts can be divided fairly easily, other types of property, such as the marital home, won’t be shared once the marital union is terminated. We assist with valuation issues, negotiations over how particular assets will be allocated, the treatment of shared debts and questions as to whether particular items should be classified as marital or separate property.
Decisions you make early in the divorce process can have a major effect on your future, so it’s important to retain a qualified family lawyer before making key choices.
Experienced firm advocates for appropriate spousal support decisions
Divorcing spouses who need financial assistance while the proceeding is pending can seek temporary support, often referred to as alimony. These requests usually occur when one party earns substantially more than the other. A more detailed analysis goes into cases involving post-divorce spousal support (permanent alimony). In some situations, these arrangements can be negotiated or are determined by the terms of a previously executed matrimonial agreement. If the matter goes before a Louisiana court, the spouse seeking support must not be ruled to be at fault for the breakdown of the marriage. This means that proof of adultery or some other marital misconduct can bar a wife or husband from collecting alimony even if they have shown that they cannot meet their financial needs. Whether you are planning to request spousal support or are being asked to provide it, we provide a knowledgeable assessment of the facts and advocate for a favorable resolution.
Contact a dedicated Lake Charles divorce lawyer to make an appointment
Stockwell, Sievert, Viccellio, Clements & Shaddock, L.L.P. in Lake Charles represents Louisiana spouses in divorce proceedings. For a consultation, please call 337-436-9491 or contact us online.