Parting with your property is one of the most difficult parts of divorcing. It’s likely that half of your property will be lost. You worked so hard for it. It’s possible that you feel helpless in the face of its division. You can still protect your property during the proceedings by learning Louisiana’s property laws.
GENERAL COMMUNITY PROPERTY
Divorce is often a complicated issue. People are often unsure what their assets will be after a divorce. Louisiana recognizes both the concept of community property as well as the concept of separate property.
The couple automatically enters into a matrimonial arrangement on the day of their marriage. Louisiana law defines the matrimonial regime as a system of principles that governs the ownership and management of property between married people and third parties. The matrimonial regime determines who and when property acquired during a marriage can be transferred to. There are three types: legal, contractual, partly legal, and partially contractual matrimonial arrangements.
Property is more than land in divorce proceedings. Property can refer to both tangible as well as intangible property. Tangible property can include land, houses, structures, and boats. Intangible property includes bank accounts, pensions, retirement funds, or other assets.
Acquisition is how you acquire property. You can acquire property through gift, donation, inheritance or purchase. To avoid the presumption that property is community property, you may need to file a declaration of acquisition if you intend to acquire a property using separate funds and you want the property to remain your separate property.
CLASSIFICATIONS OF PROPERTIES
Property may be classified either as separate or community or mixed. Any property you acquire before getting married will be considered separate property. All property acquired together after you get married would normally become community property. This includes items purchased after marriage, as well as things that you and your spouse donate together and any purchases made with joint funds. Mixed property would be property in which an undivided interest is held as community property and an undivided interest is held as separate property.
The truck you bought when you were in high school would, for example, be considered separate property. The house, camper, or savings account you and your spouse acquired after you got married would be considered community property.
FRUITS FROM SEPARATE PROPERTY
Fruits are items that are made from or derived without diminution in their substance. The law generally distinguishes between natural and civil fruits. Cows can produce both civil and natural fruit, for example. The milk that is obtained from a cow is a natural product; it occurs naturally and without any interference. The revenue from the sale of milk is civil; it does not require interference.
Louisiana law makes both civil and natural fruits of separate property owned by a spouse community property. This means that if you owned fifty cows before marriage, the cows, milk, and income from sales were your sole property. After marriage, although the cows remain your property — any additional milk or revenue from the cows becomes community property.
An authentic act or an act recognized by a notary may be used by a spouse to reserve the fruits of separate property. If you think or wish to reserve the fruits of your separate property, consult your attorney.
PRESUMPTION OF COMMUNITY PROPERTY
Louisiana law presupposes that all assets and liabilities acquired during the marriage are community property. This presumption must be disproved in order to protect the separate property of each spouse during the division of community property.
Sometimes, spouses combine separate property into common property. A spouse who has $10,000 in separate funds may deposit the money into a joint (or communal) bank account. It can be difficult to distinguish the separate property from community property when there is commingling. To disprove the assumption that all property is communal, we will examine documentation and available records.
It can be difficult and frustrating to divide your property. Knowing what you can protect could help ease your worries. A Shreveport family lawyer can help you achieve a fair result.
SHREVEPORT COMMUNITY PROPERTY LAWYERS
Many of our clients receive advice from our experienced team of lawyers about the impact that Louisiana’s community property laws could have on them in the case of divorce.
Louisiana’s community property includes money, houses, retirement savings, and pension plan benefits. It does not include inheritances and any gifts received during the marriage.
All community property must be divided in the event that there is no prenuptial agreement. Our lawyers have handled the division of community property. You can keep the property that you bring into the marriage, provided you have the records necessary to identify it.
Our lawyers at Bowie & Beresko, APLC have extensive experience in complex property divisions. Established in 1989, Bowie & Beresko APLC has turned into a top law firm in the Shreveport, LA area. Contact us today at 318-221-0600 for a free consultation