Practice Overview

Practice Page - Family Law

Because all families and individuals are different, every family law matter is different from the rest. At Lazarre Law Firm, we use a variety of approaches to divorce, partition of community property, child custody and support, and other family law matters. When you speak with us regarding your matter of concern, we will listen closely to your needs and the circumstances of your situation. Then we - lawyer and client - will as a team develop the legal approach for the achievement of results and the protection your family and your interests.

Lazarre Law Firm represents clients in matters involving:

  • Divorce
  • Child custody
  • Child support
  • Spousal support (alimony)
  • Partition of community property
  • Modifications in child support and spousal support
  • Adoptions - including stepparent and grandparent adoptions
  • Spousal and child protection orders

Topics in family law of a general nature are discussed below.

For a consultation with an attorney at Lazarre Law Firm, call (225) 590-5323, or contact us online.

Family Law - An Overview

Family law is the term applied to the laws and rules developed regarding family relationships. Family law rules define not only the relationships between members of a family but also between a family and society as a whole. More than any other area of the law, family law reflects the values society shares regarding how people who are related should treat each other. When you are faced with an important life decision regarding a key family relationship, the advice and assistance of a family law attorney at Lazarre Law Firm in Baton Rouge, LA, often proves crucial to your understanding of the issues involved and your satisfaction with the ultimate outcome of your family law matter.

Typically, family law attorneys assist people in making and breaking family relationships. Specific areas of representation include marriage and relationship planning, divorce, paternity, child custody and child support. Some family law attorneys also provide assistance in the area of adoption.

Marriage

Marriage is a legal and business union as much as it is a romantic one. Because marriage is a legal and business arrangement, it may be wise to consult with an attorney at Lazarre Law Firm about the advantages of premarital and prenuptial agreements. Many couples find it helpful to work through financial issues and the potential disagreements such issues can create before entering into a marriage.

Divorce

Divorce is a method of terminating a marriage contract. From a legal standpoint, divorce restores an individual's right to marry someone else. The process also legally divides marital assets and debts and determines the care and custody of the children.

Louisiana allows no-fault divorce in which the spouses are not required to prove that the other caused the breakdown of the marriage. Either you or your spouse may obtain a divorce, even if one of you does not consent to the divorce.

In most divorces, the primary issues to be decided are alimony (or what is called spousal support in Louisiana), property division and, if there are children, child custody, visitation and child support. When spouses agree on how to resolve these issues, they can usually obtain a divorce quickly. However, in many cases, divorcing spouses have disputes regarding their post-marriage financial arrangements and the care and custody of their children. Property division and alimony are often hotly contested issues in divorce proceedings, but the early advice of a family law attorney may be able to impact the ultimate result favorably.

Child Custody and Visitation

The care and upbringing of children following divorce is often an ongoing source of conflict for divorcing parents. Custody must address both physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody typically involves allocating parental rights and responsibilities regarding the day-to-day care and activities of the children. Legal custody typically involves allocating the legal rights and responsibilities associated with the child's upbringing.

Sometimes the parents agree to an arrangement; sometimes the court determines one for them. In the past, courts routinely gave mothers physical custody and gave fathers visitation rights. Today, the courts have begun to realize that sometimes it is in the best interests of the children to reside with the father and reverse the roles of the parents. In general, the courts favor joint ongoing child rearing responsibilities with the children residing where it is most practical and where they will flourish. The advice and assistance of a family law attorney can help parents to establish child custody and visitation agreements that focus on the best interests of the children.

Child Support

Parents must financially support their children. That obligation usually lasts until the child reaches the age of majority (usually 18) or becomes self-supporting. An order for child support may be entered during or after a divorce, and either parent may be ordered to pay support depending upon how custody is arranged. In Louisiana, a parent may also file a petition for child support in family court, and an order for support will be entered once paternity has been established.

A parent who fails to remain current on his or her child support obligations faces significant penalties. Every state has a child support enforcement office that works with the family court to suspend professional or business licenses, take away driver and recreational licenses, require payment of future owed sums in advance or place non-paying parents in jail when child support obligations are overdue. Because of the state specific requirements involved in child support, parents can benefit from the advice and involvement of a family law lawyer at Lazarre Law Firm in Baton Rouge, LA, when child support issues arise.

Contact a Family Law Attorney

Family relations create a host of legal consequences. A family law attorney at Lazarre Law Firm in Baton Rouge, LA, can explain the laws that apply to your particular situation and help you to make informed choices for you and your family.

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