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Do you plan to seek alimony in a Louisiana court?

Perhaps, you're one of many Louisiana spouses who sacrificed a career to stay home and raise a family. Maybe that was 10 or more years ago, and you never regretted your decision. Now, your kids are older, and you've determined that your relationship with your spouse is no longer sustainable. You've been out of the work force for many years, and you know you are currently not able to be financially independent. Like many other spouses have done, you plan to request alimony in court.

The court doesn't necessarily grant every request for alimony it receives. The judge overseeing your case will take numerous factors into consideration when deciding whether spousal support is necessary in your particular case. It's critical that your spouse be willing to fully disclose his or her financial situation in order for the court to make a fair decision.

Some spouses try to beat the system

In past Louisiana divorce cases, there have been spouses who try to understate their income or potential earning level. If you suspect your spouse is doing this to get out of paying alimony, the court will undoubtedly want to see evidence that substantiates your claim.

Just as family court judges do not look favorably on those who try to hide assets, if your ex tries to beat the system to avoid paying spousal support, it can cause him or her some serious legal problems.

Issues that may influence the court's decision

The fact that you were at home and out of the work force for many years will no doubt have significant influence on the court's decision as to whether or not you should receive alimony. The court will also take into account your ex's current income as well as future earning potential.

In some cases, the latter far exceeds the former, such as if your ex has a college degree but is working an entry-level job. In such cases, the court may determine the amount of spousal support based on earning potential rather than current earnings. Your federal tax returns and other forms of income may also influence the court's decision.

Alimony may be temporary or permanent

In most cases, alimony is meant to be a temporary financial supplement. The court may order your ex to pay it on a temporary basis, until such time that you are able to provide for your financial needs without assistance. In some situations, however, the court may order a person to pay spousal support on a permanent basis.

It pays to research Louisiana divorce laws ahead of time, and to know where to seek guidance and support if a specific obstacle arises that is causing a delay or impediment toward your settlement.

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