Family Law FAQ

Shreveport Divorce Attorney Answers Frequently Asked Family Law Questions

What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Louisiana?

  • There are four grounds for divorce in the state of Louisiana:
  • Proof that the spouse being sued for the divorce has committed adultery
  • A felony conviction with a sentence of hard labor by the spouse being sued for divorce
  • Living separately for six months before filing for a divorce if there are no minor children of the marriage; one year if there are minor children of the marriage
  • Upon motion of either spouse 180 days after service on the other spouse of a petition for divorce

What Decides How the Court Will Award Spousal Support (Alimony)?

The agreement made in marriage to support one another does not necessarily end when they divorce. If the divorce will render one spouse with income insufficient for their needs and the other with enough to contribute to the other's support, the court will usually award monetary spousal support, at least for the time being.

Either spouse may be awarded spousal support if the other has the more substantial income and the recipient spouse's income isn't enough to maintain him or her.

In cases in which one spouse has put his or her life on hold in order to raise their children while the other worked or sought a better career or education, the spousal support is often temporary, providing income for a specific period in order that the recipient spouse is allowed to become financially self-sufficient.

How is child support calculated?

Child support is based on the parents' incomes, expenses and the financial needs of the children. The typical format calculates the child support amount as a percentage of the paying parent's income that increases as the number of children being supported rises. The purpose of guidelines is to aid the judge in determining child support amounts. Judges can move away from simply following the guidelines if there is reason, for example, if one party or a child has higher than average expenses, like medical bills. Sometimes, the court determines that the paying parent is voluntarily earning less than he or she could in order to lessen the child support payment. If this is judged to be the case, the amount of child support might be based on what the payer is capable of earning, not what the payer is actually earning. The main determinants in calculating child support are:

  • The paying parent's ability to pay
  • The custodial parent's income and needs
  • The child's standard of living before the parents' split
  • The child's or children's needs, which include educational costs, daycare expenses and medical expenses

Whatever your family law question may be, contact the Law Offices of Mark D. Frederick to assist you with any and all family law matters you may be experiencing. Call us at our Shreveport, LA office at 866-385-4007. We have the answers.