At Lowe Stein, LLC, our family law team has a thorough understanding of divorce procedures in Louisiana, including property division. With more than 40 years of experience, our New Orleans property division attorneys can guide you through your legal options to ensure that you get the results you want. Do not hesitate to get the legal help necessary to start your next chapter of life on the right foot.
Is Louisiana a Community Property State?
The biggest difference between separate and community property is whether the property is owned by the couple, or whether it is owned by one spouse within the marriage. Community property refers to properties and assets accrued over the course of the marriage. Since Louisiana is a community property state, the court will seek to divide marital and community property as equally as possible. However, separate property is not eligible for division.
Separate Property Includes the Following:
- Property owned by a spouse before the marriage
- Property was given to a spouse through inheritance or donation
- Damages resulting from one spouse’s separate property
- Property attained by one spouse due to a voluntary asset division during marriage
There are only a few situations in which a deviation from the 50/50 rule would be acceptable. If the couple had a valid prenuptial agreement, the court would defer to the agreement. If the divorce happened way before the property is divided, payments made and debts acquired post-divorce should be included in the proceedings.
For more information or to schedule a consultation with our New Orleans property division lawyers, contact us online today.
Divorce property division laws in Louisiana require that all community property be divided equally between both spouses. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the judge is going to split everything in half and offer one half to each spouse. However, each spouse should end up with an equal percentage of the total value of the property in question. For example, one spouse may desire to keep the house that the couple purchased during their marriage. In this situation, the other spouse would receive additional property equal to the value of the house in place of no longer owning the property itself. Property division in divorce can be complicated; by hiring an experienced property division attorney you can ensure that your best interests are protected.
How Is Property Value Determined in a Louisiana Divorce?
In order for community property (also known as assets) to be divided evenly, you must first be sure of the value of all community property. Some of the most common examples of community property include the following.
Community Property Examples:
- The home
- Computers and other electronic devices
- Art or décor
If the couple isn’t able to agree on a fair distribution of community property, the best way to determine the value of each of these property items is to rely on expert testimony. For high-value artwork this may mean requesting the services of an antique appraiser. For home appraisal you may need to turn to a real estate appraiser.
Who Appraises the House In a Divorce?
If the couple is able to come to an agreement on who they want to hire to appraise the home, they may use whomever they wish. However, if they can’t agree on who to hire, the court may appoint a real estate appraiser for them.
Property Division FAQ:
Are Student Loans Community Property?
Yes. According to Louisiana divorce law, any student loans taken out during a couple’s marriage can be considered community property debt. This means that you may be held 50% responsible for any student loan debts, even if you weren’t the one who went to school. However, if the student loans were taken out prior to the marriage, even if one spouse was using community funds to pay off the loans during the marriage, that loan is still considered their personal debt. In some cases that spouse may also need to pay back any community funds that they used to pay off their private student loan debt.
Do You Have to Split Property In a Divorce?
Splitting property in court can be messy, so it’s no wonder that some people would rather just hash things out themselves. While it’s true that you don’t have to split everything 50/50, the judge will typically not issue a divorce until you can prove that you have reached a fair agreement for both parties. This means that if you sign off on allowing your spouse to take a significantly higher percentage of the property, the judge may choose to investigate the agreement before finalizing the divorce.
Get Help With Your Property & Asset Division Today!
Our New Orleans property division attorneys understand how meticulous and strenuous property division can be. Fortunately, we believe in supporting our clients and exceeding their expectations through personalized solutions and committed advocacy. Whether you need help determining if your spouse is hiding assets or if you are looking for a modification, we are here for you!