Louisiana Family Law
With more than two decades of experience in assisting people with their most personal matters, Betsy A. Fischer, LLC, has learned the strategies needed to help people manage the legal issues that may arise during difficult family conflicts.
We regularly help clients needing legal advice regarding their divorce and divorce-related disputes throughout Louisiana including Metairie, New Orleans, Kenner, Gretna, Mandeville, Covington, Abita Springs, Slidell, Chalmette, Harvey, Destrehan, Luling, St. Rose, Jefferson Parish, Orleans Parish, St. Tammany Parish, St. Charles Parish, St. Bernard Parish St. John the Baptist Parish.
To meet our clients’ needs, we emphasize a personalized style of legal services in which we maximize contact between the clients and the family law lawyer, thereby establishing an attorney-client relationship that creates an environment within which clients feel comfortable discussing sensitive issues.
Personalized Family Legal Services
Our firm provides our clients with personalized legal services in the following areas:
Our Louisiana divorce practice involves us in any number of situations, including annulment, military divorce, relocation, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. We can answer your questions about how Louisiana courts handle divorce, what marital property laws may apply to community property, and alimony (spousal support). We understand Louisiana child custody laws, and we can help with sensitive issues that involve minor children and parental rights. Talk to us about how the law defines the best interest of the child, and how the custodial parent or parent with sole custody is chosen. We also have a lot of experience with Louisiana child support laws. We can help you manage child custody issues such as joint custody, physical custody, and reasonable visitation rights.
In addressing our clients’ needs, we take into account their own emotional situations and provide them with compassionate assistance. We advise our clients not only in divorce matters but also in those difficult times late in a loved one’s life when he or she may be struggling with end-of-life issues. Our experience with family law cases, and the family court system enables us to recognize when resolving these conflicts does and does not require going to court and trying a case.
We do not simply apply cookie-cutter solutions to complicated problems. Our experience with negotiating cooperative agreements doesn’t mean we shy away from the toughest divorces. Our firm is prepared to deal with divorces that involve issues such as domestic violence, restraining orders, and child abuse.
How a Family Law Attorney Can Help You with Your Divorce
If you are going through a divorce, you should hire an experienced family law attorney to help you get the best results possible. There are numerous reasons to retain the services of a family law attorney during a divorce. Here are some of the advantages of choosing a divorce lawyer:
- They are a non-bias, third party with no emotional attachment in the divorce.
- They can also help save money or procure you more compensation.
- They can help accelerate the process and keep the divorce moving in a timely manner.
- They can help avoid any mistakes that commonly occur in a divorce.
- They have experience handling various situations and types of divorce.
- They will help you avoid any conflicts and keep an open line of communication.
- They will know what options are available to you and what options best fit your circumstance.
Furthermore, a skilled family law attorney can handle custody arrangements, pre and post-nuptial agreements, and other family matters in addition to divorces. This will likely help save time and money from going through multiple proceedings.
Our law firm has over 25 years of experience dealing with divorce cases, and will be able to answer any legal questions you may have.
Types of Divorces in Louisiana
Additionally, the Louisiana Civil Code has many provisions that govern divorces, and a qualified attorney has experience dealing with the code and its application. The main aspect you should be familiar with is that Louisiana Code allows two types of divorce:
- An article 102 divorce—for couples with or without minor children, Article 102 allows for a no-fault divorce. This is for spouses who are not yet separated and living apart for the required waiting time of 180 or 365 days.
- An article 103 divorce—for couples with or without minor children, Article 103 allows for a no-fault divorce. Article 103 no-fault divorces are for spouses who have already lived apart for the required waiting time of 180 or 365 days.
- Additionally, for marriages with or without minor children, Article 103 allows for two fault-based divorces.
- The two fault-based grounds for divorce under Article 103 are if the other spouse has committed adultery or has been sentenced to death or long labor for committing a crime. An article 103 fault-based divorce has no waiting time.
There are various advantages to each type of divorce. A Louisiana family law attorney will be able to answer any questions about which divorce will be best for your situation and how to file for an article 102 divorce versus an article 103 divorce.
What are Grandparents’ Rights?
Grandparents’ rights are the rights a grandparent has regarding visitation and custody of grandchildren. After the parents split, physically separate for at least six months, or one parent dies, grandparents in Louisiana have the legal right to request reasonable visitation with their grandchildren. This is a right that can only be exercised by biological grandparents.
There are various circumstances when a grandparent can have visitation rights even if the parents are still together, but this is only for “extraordinary circumstances,” which include:
- One of the parents has been imprisoned or has been deemed legally incapacitated.
- One or both parents have a hazardous controlled substance addiction, or
- Due to a parent’s abuse or neglect, the child is placed in foster care.
In order to get visitation rights, the grandparents have the burden of proof. They must demonstrate a legal right to court-ordered time and that the planned visits are in the best interests of the child. Grandparents, in rare cases, can obtain custody of the children if the court finds that living with the parents would be detrimental to their health and not in their best interest.
Types of Wills and Successions
There are two types of lawful wills in Louisiana: olographic testaments (also known as holographic testaments in other states) and notarial testaments. Both of these wills must be signed by the testator and meet the following criteria in order to be valid:
- Meet any real estate requirements of the state where the property is located.
- Meet any requirements of the state where the will was executed.
- Meet any requirements set forth by the state where the testator was domiciled at the date of execution or time of death.
- Meet Louisiana’s legal requirements for a last will and testament.
A recent Gallup Poll found that roughly 55% of Americans do not have a will. Moreover, a recent article suggests that the number of Americans without a will is closer to 70 percent. When someone dies without a will they are known to be “intestate.”
Louisiana has two types of succession: intestate and testate succession. A Succession is the process of settling a deceased person’s estate and distributing the property once debts have been paid. In addition to intestate and testate, Louisiana also has two forms of succession, which are administered (more complex and only necessary when an unadministered succession is not available) and unadministered.
Helping You with an Adoption
Adoption is a major decision that you and your loved one may have to make at some point. When you have made your decision and adoption is your best option, you will need an attorney that specializes in Family Law and Adoption in Louisiana.
A family law attorney will know the laws governing adoptions in Louisiana and will be able to help you decide what kind of adoption is best for you. There are three various types of adoptions in Louisiana.
- Agency: This can be through a private adoption by surrender or from the State taking a child from its biological parents because they are unfit—they have no say when this occurs.
- Intra-family: Intra-family adoptions are precisely what they sound like—private adoptions between members of one’s own family.
- Private Adoption: Adoptive parents and biological parents can negotiate the details of the adoption through private attorneys, and biological parents can select, approve, or disapprove of the adoptive parents.
A family law attorney will be able to go over each type of adoption and walk you through the process.
Additionally, adoptions must always be finalized in court, which increases the likelihood of problems. A skilled attorney can assist you in avoiding roadblocks and making the procedure more effective. Family law attorneys are familiar with the system and the procedures required for a successful adoption. An attorney will assist you to ensure that all of the necessary forms and documentation for the adoption are completed correctly.
A Louisiana family lawyer will assist you in every step of the procedure. Whether you are trying to adopt your stepchild, grandchild, a foster kid, or a child from another country, you will never feel like you are on your own.
What is an Interdiction?
An interdiction is a legal process in which a court is asked to assess whether a person is incapable, due to an infirmity, to consistently make decisions about his or her person and/or property, or to convey those decisions, based on testimony and other evidence given. If this is determined, the court selects someone to make these choices on his behalf.
The court can decide between a full interdiction of a limited interdiction.
- When a court judges that an individual is incapable of consistently making decisions about his or her person and property, a full interdiction is imposed.
- When a court concludes that an individual is incapable of consistently making decisions about his or her person or property, or some part of either, a limited interdiction is imposed.
A full interdict lacks the ability to conduct legal affairs—a lawful act or statement of will that has legal ramifications (like entering into a contract). A limited interdict lacks the legal competence to make a legal act relating to the property or aspects of personal care that the limited interdiction decision places under the curator’s responsibility. Some rights for the interdict may be preserved by an interdiction judgment.
When a court decides a person should be interdicted either fully or partially, they will assign a curator. A curator is a person appointed by the court to look after the interdicted person or his property, make decisions for the interdicted person, or act in his or her place. When making these judgments, the curator must use reasonable care, diligence, and prudence, and act in the interdicted person’s best interests. A curator must also provide an annual report to the court.
There can be other legal options available if interdiction is not in someone’s best interest. An experienced family law attorney will be able to assist you and your loved ones in deciding what is best for them and their life choices.
Contact Us To Discuss Your Family Law Matter
If you or a loved one is going through a family law matter whether it be adoption, child custody, divorce, or death, the Louisiana family lawyer at Betsy A. Fischer, LLC is here to help you. Family law issues can be complex and involve many conflicts. It is best to have an impartial third-party to fight on your behalf. There are many legal intricacies that can arise when going through any family law matter. Our law firm has skilled family law attorneys that will be able to navigate you through any of these complexities.
To discuss your matter with an experienced family law attorney serving the state of Louisiana, East Baton Rouge, Metairie, and all surrounding areas, please call our firm. Contact us at (504) 780-8232 to make an appointment for an entirely confidential initial consultation at a reduced rate with attorney Betsy Fischer. You can also schedule a meeting by contacting the firm online.