Spousal support, also known as alimony, may be included in the divorce terms in Louisiana. Our New Orleans spousal support attorneys at Lowe, Stein, Hoffman, Allweiss & Hauver L.L.P. are committed to helping you with understanding the state divorce laws and court proceedings in Louisiana, as well as how they apply to your individual situation.
For over 40 years, our legal team has helped our clients obtain the results they desire in their family law matters. When it comes to divorce, having us on your side can ensure not only a successful end to your marriage, but a fresh start in the next chapter of your life.
The primary purpose of alimony is to ensure that the same standard of living during the marriage remains. According to Louisiana state law, the court may award spousal support to one spouse if he or she requires financial support during and/or after a marriage dissolution.
Types of Spousal Support in Louisiana
The court may award three types of spouse support:
- Interim Spousal Support / Temporary Alimony - This type of support ends when a final judgment is made on spousal support or 180 days after the divorce is finalized.
- Periodic Post-Divorce Support - Most common type of support. This is used in cases where the lower-earning spouse can support themselves, but they need time and some financial support in order to gain financial independence. For example, the court assumes that both spouses will work after the divorce. If one spouse stayed at home during the marriage and is capable of work, because of the period of time they did not spend working, they may need time to get training or education in order to get a job, leading to financial stability.
- Final Periodic Spousal Support / Permanent Alimony - This is the final judgment made by the court on the spousal support. The spouse that pay must pay support based on the terms in the support order. This type of alimony continues indefinitely, however, stoppage in payments can occur due to death of the person paying, the death of the recipient, or the remarriage of the recipient. Either party may request a modification order if needed.
Support Obligation After Divorce in Louisiana
Some divorcing couples may opt for a support obligation after divorce instead, meaning that they agree to a lump sum payment instead. This option may be used in a situation where the paying spouse does not have a steady job but has assets that will meet the needs of the spouse who will receive payments. It may also be used if the court seeks a contribution toward the paying spouse’s education or career. The support obligation is a signed contract that specifics the terms of support and when and how much the paying spouse will pay. The alimony will end based on the terms in the support obligation contract.
Common Factors That Go Into a Spousal Support Decision in Louisiana:
- Fault in the divorce
- Duration of marriage
- Standard of living during marriage
- Which spouse will be the custodial parent, if children are involved
- The health, ability to work, and financial circumstances of each party
Factors that Determine Interim Spousal Support
If you are able to show the court that you need financial support to maintain a standard of living and your spouse can afford to pay alimony, then the court will typically approve of some support while the divorce is being finalized.
The court will decide temporary alimony based on the factors below:
- The person’s need for support
- The ability of the other spouse to pay alimony
- Any interim or final child support awards
- Standard of living of both spouses during the marriage
Factors That Determine Final Spousal Support
Determining final periodic spousal support typically requires review by the judge or hearing officer, your spouse’s income and expenses to determine if there is a need and if they are able to pay.
To determine the final amount and how long it should be paid, the court will decide permanent alimony based on:
- Income of both parties, including benefits (retirement and social security) and the liquidity of assets
- Financial obligations of both parties, which includes monthly expenses and interim or final child support obligations. If a party cannot cover necessary expenses, then support should be awarded to help cover them.
- How much each party earns -- if a spouse is unemployed or working a low-paying job, it is also taken into consideration.
- How child custody will affect a person’s ability to work certain jobs or earn more money
- Time needed for a spouse to get employment -- the court may award support if the spouse did not work during the marriage, but is capable of working, but needs time to get education, training, and a job.
- Health and age of the divorcing spouses
- Duration of the marriage
- How taxes will affect both parties
- Any domestic abuse committed on a spouse or child
Have questions about alimony in Louisiana? Reach out to our New Orleans spousal support lawyers at Lowe, Stein, Hoffman, Allweiss & Hauver L.L.P. Call (504) 517-8160 or completed an online contact form to schedule a consultation. We are here to answer any of your questions!
How Spousal Support is Paid in Louisiana
Spouses must pay through a withholding order. These go to the paying spouse’s employer where they will deduct spousal support via each payroll. They cannot exceed 30% of the paying spouse’s net income unless the court finds that the paying spouse committed domestic violence during the marriage.
Can Spousal Support Orders be Changed?
Support orders may be modified and must be reviewed by the court. The spouse must be able to prove that there has been a material change since the last support order. The judge will evaluate the request and make sure that it is still fair to both spouses. The court can increase, decrease, or even terminate the support payments altogether.
Need help modifying spousal support orders? Call (504) 517-8160 to speak with an experienced alimony attorney in New Orleans today.
Common Law Marriage and Spousal Support in Louisiana
Common-law marriage is when two individuals who live together consider themselves married without a formal ceremony or a marriage license. Common-law marriages are not recognized by the state and are prohibited, however, under the United States Full Faith and Credit Clause, Louisiana does recognize common-law marriages that happened in other states where it is legal. Unmarried couples who live together do not automatically become common-law couples in Louisiana.
Rights Under Common Law Marriage
A legal common law marriage means that the couple has the following rights in Louisiana:
- Right to a divorce
- Right to child custody
- Right to spousal support/alimony
- Right to property division
- Right to healthcare benefits
- Right to inheritance after a partner’s passing
- Right to visitation time in jail
Choose Our Skilled New Orleans Spousal Support Attorneys Today
At Lowe, Stein, Hoffman, Allweiss & Hauver L.L.P., we can help you navigate through the complexities of your divorce case in order to obtain the outcome you desire. Whether we can settle the matter of spousal support inside or outside the courtroom, our New Orleans alimony attorneys will be on your side throughout the entire ordeal.