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New Orleans Family Law Blog

Steps to take after a divorce is final

While a divorce can feel exhausting, the work does not necessarily end when the final paperwork is signed and submitted. Estranged Louisiana couples may still have several other issues to address.

For example, some people may need to change their name on their driver's license and other documents. Others might need to remove a former spouse from a health insurance plan. A commonly overlooked step is changing the estate plan. This can mean altering a will or a trust and drawing up new powers of attorney. People should also check their beneficiary designations on insurance policies and retirement accounts and change them if necessary.

How to be better coparents after divorce

Once the difficult process of working out a schedule for custody and visitation is over for a divorced couple in Louisiana, they still must learn to coparent. A parent should always avoid speaking negatively of their ex. Children can learn on their own if a parent is irresponsible. Furthermore, a child should only be kept away from the other parent if it affects their safety.

Exes may not share parenting styles, but they should try to have similar expectations for the children in both households. Online tools can help parents communicate about the schedule and other issues affecting the children. In addition, a calendar in each parent's home can provide an easy visual for everyone to keep track.

Dealing with cryptocurrencies during a divorce

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have become extremely popular among investors in Louisiana and around the country because they offer the promise of robust returns and operate outside the sphere of government regulators. However, the qualities that make them an attractive addition to investment portfolios can be a major challenge to divorcing spouses and the attorneys representing them. Placing a value on these volatile assets can be difficult during property division negotiations, and the privacy offered by Bitcoin and its competitors have made these alternative currencies a popular way for high-net-worth individuals to conceal funds.

The value of marital assets are generally set based on what they were worth when divorce papers were initially filed, but legal and financial advisers say that a different approach should be taken with cryptocurrencies because their value fluctuates so much. Between November 2016 and February 2017, Bitcoin prices surged by more than 1,200 percent and then fell by 40 percent. To address this problem, experts suggest waiting until assets are distributed to set the value of cryptocurrencies.

Social media helps kids get through divorce

While many Louisiana residents bemoan the effect of social media and online communications on children's psyches, some research indicates that these forms of communication can be highly beneficial to children whose parents are going through a divorce. Studies show that even kids whose parents are engaged in high levels of conflict and disagreement benefit greatly from online communication.

When parents of minor children divorce and one parent maintains primary custody, it can be challenging for the other parent to remain as close to the children. This is especially true when work or other factors cause the other parent to move away. However, social media, texting and video calls enable these parents to bridge the gap. While experts agree that in-person contact is always best, they noted that whenever parents and children stayed directly in touch, the relationship between the parents mattered much less to the children's sense of love and connection with both parents.

How estate planning factors into the divorce process

For many Louisiana residents, moving through a divorce requires a lengthy checklist of to-do items, many of which can be tedious. The divorce process can feel overwhelming, and it is not uncommon for spouses to forget to address various issues that relate to their divorce. When it comes to life insurance, however, it is very important for spouses to make the appropriate changes to ensure that their final wishes are adhered to.

Failing to change one's beneficiary designation can have serious repercussions to loved ones who are left behind. Many states have laws that dictate how a life insurance policy will be handled in the event of a divorce. However, these laws can change over time, or a move could place an estate in a different jurisdiction with vastly different laws. That is why it is critical to make and desired alterations during or shortly after the divorce process.

3 mistakes that could impact your divorce

As you approach your divorce proceedings, you may wonder what route would work best for you. Because a variety of options exists, including do-it-yourself avenues, you have the opportunity to choose the method that you feel most comfortable using. Of course, having so many choices could also potentially increase the risk of mistakes made during your proceedings. Therefore, you may wish to gain reliable information on those options.

In addition to method-related information, you may also want to know more about the possible mistakes that occur most often. With this knowledge, you may have a better chance of avoiding errors that many other individuals may have made.

Child custody evaluations are not always accurate

When Louisiana parents are faced with a challenge to their parental rights, there are no words that can properly describe the stress and anxiety that follows. When the state acts to remove a child from his or her home, the parents are often at a distinct disadvantage. States have a number of tools at their disposal in these cases, including attorneys, social workers, guardian ad litems and individuals tasked with making child custody evaluations. Parents are allowed the right to an attorney, but many do not have the resources to match those that the state can gather. This can lead to controversial and distressing child custody outcomes, including a recent case in which children may have been wrongly placed in harm's way by state authorities.

The case centers on a family in which the man and woman have a history of domestic violence. Their 5-year-old twins and an older child belonging to the mother were removed from the home, based on the court's belief that there were issues of neglect and that the children were witnesses to acts of domestic violence. The children were placed into a foster home.

Community property a minor concern for immigrant spouses

Regardless of where one's political affiliation lies, there can be no doubt that the current administration has shaken things up on the political landscape. For immigrants, concerns over Trump's immigration policies have caused a great deal of anxiety. According to family law professionals, there has been an uptick in the number of immigrants who are engaged to an American citizen and hoping to escalate their wedding timeframe. For those Louisiana couples, a prenuptial agreement may also be a desirable course of action, even though issues of community property are likely not on their minds at the moment.

Speeding up an engagement and including a prenup can have a number of unintended consequences. While marrying an American citizen is one path to a green card, that path is not without obstacles and is far from certain. The process of securing a green card includes a close examination of one's marriage by immigration officials. A rushed wedding and a prenuptial agreement could be interpreted as signs that the union is not legitimate.

The importance of avoiding errors on a QDRO

For many Louisiana residents, the division of retirement assets is a primary focus during the property division process. In fact, there are many families in which retirement savings comprise the bulk of marital wealth. Getting things right during the division of these assets is important, and should be a priority. To that end, it is important to carefully review the QDRO to ensure that there are no costly errors or omissions present.

A QDRO stands for Qualified Domestic Relations Order. This is the document that dictates how retirement assets are to be divided between parties to a divorce. Aside from getting the basic math correct, a QDRO must also carefully adhere to the requirements of each specific retirement plan.

Divorcing at a young age? The outcome may be better than you think

Some individuals may have varying beliefs regarding the end of a marriage, depending on the age of the couple involved. Despite these views, you will likely find the process stressful and daunting regardless of how old you are at the time. Divorce will inevitably bring about change in your life, and there are some means you can use to avoid letting certain factors have a negative effect on the outcome.