About Matters Incidental To Divorce

Authored By: Lagniappe Law Lab


About Matters Incidental To Divorce

This covers several issues related to divorce in Louisiana. Matters incidental to divorce are issues that are related to the divorce but are not the main issues of the case. These issues can be raised in the original petition for divorce, in an answer, or in a motion filed with the Court.

If a party wants to ask the Court to decide all of the issues they would like to have decided, they can file a "Motion for Determination of Incidental Matters." This kind of motion can address multiple issues, such as child custody, child support, and spousal support.

If a party wants to ask the Court to decide only one issue, they can file a "Rule to Show Cause for Child Custody" or a similar motion for other issues. This kind of motion is used to ask the Court to make a decision on a specific issue, such as child custody.

Matters Incidental To Divorce

The property issues in a divorce might include: 

  • Property Injunctions: Either spouse can ask the Court to enter an order that limits the other spouse's legal right to sell, give away, or lease the community property and their right to pledge the community property as collateral. To do this, the spouse will first request a temporary restraining order and then a permanent injunction.  
  • Using and dividing money: Either spouse can ask the Court to allow them the use of community funds during the divorce process. This issue relates to what can of accounts can be used and what the spouse's responsibilities are when using the money allocated to them by the Court. 
  • Using and dividing community property: Either spouse can ask the Court to enter an order that allows them to use the family home or cars. If a spouse needs to go to the family home to get their personal belongings, the Court can enter an order for that, too. This issue relates to how to ask the Court for the use of property and for an order to allow a spouse to go home to get their things
  • Partition: After the divorce judgment, the spouses can partition their property. This issue explains the partition process. 

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Child custody issues in a divorce typically revolve around the legal and physical custody of any minor children involved. These issues can include:

  1. Legal Custody: This refers to the authority to make important decisions about the child's upbringing, such as education, healthcare, religion, and general welfare. Legal custody can be joint (shared by both parents) or sole (granted to one parent).

  2. Physical Custody: Physical custody involves where the child will live and spend their time. It can also be joint (shared physical custody) or sole (primary physical custody with one parent, with visitation rights for the other).

  3. Visitation or Parenting Time: If one parent has primary physical custody, the other parent typically has visitation or parenting time rights. The schedule for these visits is often determined by the court or agreed upon by the parents.

  4. Child Support: Child support is the financial support provided by one parent to the other for the child's expenses. The amount is usually determined by guidelines set by the state of Louisiana, taking into account factors like income, custody arrangements, and the child's needs.

  5. Child's Best Interests: In Louisiana courts, the primary consideration in determining child custody matters is the best interests of the child. Courts will consider various factors, such as the child's age, relationship with each parent, stability, and any special needs.

  6. Modification of Custody Orders: Custody arrangements can change over time. If circumstances for either parent or the child change significantly, one parent may request a modification of the custody order through the court.

  7. Guardianship or Custodial Rights of Third Parties: In some cases, a grandparent, relative, or another third party may seek custody or visitation rights if they can demonstrate that it's in the child's best interests and the parents are unfit or unable to provide adequate care.

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Financial issues in a Louisiana divorce can encompass a variety of matters related to the division of assets, debts, and financial support. Here are some of the key financial issues in a Louisiana divorce:

  1. Community Property Division: Louisiana is a community property state. This means that, in the absence of a valid prenuptial agreement, most assets and debts acquired during the marriage are considered community property and are typically divided equally between the spouses upon divorce. Separate property, which includes assets acquired before the marriage or by gift or inheritance during the marriage, generally remains with the owning spouse.

  2. Spousal Support (Alimony): Spousal support, also known as alimony, may be awarded to one spouse by court order or through a voluntary agreement. The purpose of alimony is to provide financial assistance to the economically disadvantaged spouse, usually the one with a lower income or earning capacity.

  3. Child Support: Child support is a financial obligation typically paid by the noncustodial parent to the custodial parent to help cover the expenses of raising the children. The amount of child support is determined by state guidelines, taking into account factors such as income, custody arrangements, and the child's needs.

  4. Division of Retirement and Pension Accounts: Retirement accounts and pension benefits earned during the marriage are often considered community property and may be subject to division. This may require the preparation of a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) to facilitate the division.

  5. Property Valuation: Determining the value of assets, such as real estate, businesses, investments, and personal property, is crucial for equitable distribution. Appraisals or expert assessments may be necessary to establish the fair market value of such assets.

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In a Louisiana divorce, a spouse may choose to change their name as part of the divorce proceedings. Here are some key considerations and issues related to name changes in a Louisiana divorce:

  1. Request for Name Change: A spouse who wishes to change their name as part of the divorce process should include this request in the divorce petition or answer. They can specify the desired new name in the divorce paperwork.

  2. Legal Requirements: In Louisiana, a name change during divorce typically requires a court order. The court will review the request and issue an order if it deems the change appropriate.

  3. Reason for the Change: Courts generally allow a spouse to change their name as part of a divorce for any legitimate reason, such as reverting to a maiden name or adopting a new name for personal or professional reasons. The court will typically grant the request unless there are compelling reasons to deny it.

  4. Effect on Documents and Records: After obtaining a court order for the name change, the spouse should update their identification documents, such as a driver's license, passport, and Social Security card, to reflect the new name. They should also notify relevant institutions and entities, such as banks, employers, and creditors, of the name change. If the spouse has insurance policies, such as health, life, or auto insurance, they should notify the insurance companies of the name change to ensure coverage remains valid.

  5. Children's Names: If there are children involved in the divorce, it's important to consider any desired changes to their names as well. If both parents agree to a name change for the children, the court may approve it as part of the divorce decree.

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Last Review and Update: Sep 12, 2022
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