You may be aware that Louisiana is only one of nine states (Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin) that applies the law of community property. So what does that mean to you? In general, everything acquired by you and your spouse beginning on the date of your marriage and ending on the date that you file the Petition for Divorce is considered community property. The amount of time you are physically separated does not matter for purposes of community property division. What matters is the date that you file the Petition for Divorce, as that is the date which the Court will retroactively terminate the community existing between the spouses. Each spouse is legally entitled to a one-half interest in all of the community property. There are, however, always exceptions to every rule and some of the most common exceptions to the classification of community property include inheritance or property acquired with separate property of either spouse.
If you do not wish for the law of community property to apply to you and your spouse, Louisiana allows parties to establish a system of separate property through a valid contract entered into prior to the parties’ marriage. This contract is commonly referred to as a prenuptial agreement. The law in Louisiana also sets forth a way for married persons to validly enter into a matrimonial agreement should the spouses decide following the marriage that they do not want to be subjected to the law of community property. Ashley will be happy to meet with you and discuss the details and effects of pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreements.