Attorney services in Shreveport Bossier City
Family Law Practice
Family Law is all about matters that affect a family.
Doug Stinson is an experienced attorney in Shreveport-Bossier City, LA that can help with marital property laws, adoption, divorce, child custody and child support. Stinson Law Firm can also assist in adoptions.
Divorce in Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana
Most of our clients choose a ‘no-fault’ divorce in Louisiana. A person seeking a “no fault” divorce does not have to prove that the other spouse did anything wrong. In most cases, Louisiana law requires that spouses live separate and apart for 180 days if there are no minor children (365 days if there are minor children) before a judgment of divorce can be granted. However, you do not have to wait until the end of the waiting period to file for divorce. You should not wait to discuss your case with an attorney.
It is, however, possible to seek to divorce on ‘fault’ grounds. Grounds for fault include adultery, a felony conviction that results in imprisonment at hard labor, physical or sexual abuse of the spouse seeking the divorce or a child of one of the spouses. The advantages of filing a fault based divorce is to eliminate the waiting period if the grounds for fault are proven and may preclude the at-fault spouse from receiving final spousal support (commonly referred to as alimony).
The process may seem daunting, but Stinson Law Firm can help with your family law issues and can help you through the emotional process of the dissolution of your marriage.
Stinson Law Firm has extensive experience handling uncontested divorces. Often times, spouses simply want a divorce without arguing over spousal support, community property, or child custody. Doug Stinson has handled numerous uncontested divorces in which the spouses simply want a divorce. In some of these cases, spouses can obtain a judgment of divorce without having to appear in court. In other cases, a judgment of divorce can be obtained with just one court appearance.
Do you need help with a divorce?
Spousal Support (often referred to as Alimony)
You may be entitled to an award of interim (temporary) periodic spousal support to help you maintain the same lifestyle you had during marriage. If you are in need of final spousal support and you are free from fault, you may be entitled to receive final support up to one-third of the other spouse’s income.
Stinson Law Firm has experience is assisting clients with issues involving spousal support.
Louisiana is a community property state. It means that all income earned, debt incurred, and property acquired during the marriage are owned equally by the spouses, except property received through inheritance or gift, which is separate property. Therefore, community property must be equally divided upon divorce. Although this seems like a simple process, you might disagree with your spouse as to the value of property and whether property should be classified as community or separate property. Stinson Law Firm can assist you in negotiating a community property settlement or fight for an equal distribution of community property in court.
Do you need help settling community property?
Child Custody and Child Support
Like most states in America, Louisiana has adopted the Uniform Child Custody Act. Highlights of this act are:
The underlying theme in determining custody is the best interest of the child with safety and physical and emotional well-being, as the main cornerstones.
These are some of the factors that the court will weigh carefully before deciding about custody.
One thing is sure in a child custody or child support case: the other party in your case will most likely have legal counsel. Can you afford not to have a lawyer representing you in court? Speak with your Louisiana child custody attorney at Stinson Law Firm today.
Do you need help with child custody?
Intrafamily Adoptions / Stepparent Adoptions
Adoption laws can be complex. Stinson Law Firm handles intra-family adoptions and can help you by explaining Louisiana state laws. Stinson Law Firm can advise who can be adopted, by whom and how.
As a quick reference:
- In an intrafamily adoption, a stepparent, step-grandparent, grandparent, or collaterals (relatives) within the twelfth degree (just ask us!) may petition to adopt a child if the following conditions are met:
- Party seeking adoption is related to the child by blood, adoption, or affinity/marriage through a parent recognized as having parental rights;
- The party seeking adoption is a single person over 18 years old or a married person whose spouse is a joint petitioner,
- The party seeking adoption has had legal or physical custody of the child for at least six months prior to filing the petition for adoption.
In intrafamily adoptions, the party seeking the adoption must either obtain the consent of the biological parent(s) or terminate the parent(s) parental rights, which can be difficult to do. Some grounds for terminating parental rights include a parent’s failure to pay child support or communicate with the child for more than six months.
Stinson Law firm in Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana, is ready to work for you!
Frequently Asked Questions
Does a mother always get sole custody?
No. In Louisiana, if the parents cannot agree on custody or the agreement is not in the best interest of the child, the court is required to award joint custody to both parents. Sole custody may only be granted if one parent can show that it is in the best interest of the child.
What if I have joint custody and I want to relocate my residence?
If you are the domiciliary parent, have sole custody, or share equal physical custody by way of a judgment, you may be able to relocate only after following certain procedures under Louisiana law. This detailed procedure requires rules specific notification to the other parent or person with custody. If that person objects to your relocation, you will need to seek court approval. You should contact Stinson Law Firm as soon as possible if you are considering relocating the principal residence of your child.
How much will I have to pay in child support? How much child support will I receive?
Child support is set by guidelines established by Louisiana law. The amount of child support you will receive or be required to pay depends on several factors which include the number of minor children, gross income of both parties, child care costs, the cost of health insurance premiums, and the custody arrangement of the parties. Stinson Law Firm will assist you in getting the information that is necessary to determine the amount of child support you will receive or be required to pay.
How much do you charge for family law matters?
That will depend on the complexity of your case, opposing counsel, and the amount of discord that exists between the parties. In uncontested divorces I am able to charge a flat fee plus court costs. In contested matters, I often charge an hourly rate and my clients are responsible for paying all court costs, which can be unpredictable at the beginning of litigation. Please schedule a consultation today so that I can try to assist you in determining the complexity of your case and give you an estimate of legal fees and court costs.