Can I establish Custody, Child Support, Spousal Support & Community Property with an Uncontested Divorce

Yes, you can establish Custody, Child Support, Spousal Support & Community Property with an Uncontested Divorce. Generally when an “Uncontested Divorce” is filed, the parties know whether they are able to come to an agreement on any incidental actions such as custody, child support, spousal support, or community property separation issues. Spouses can save time, money and legal battles by reaching an agreement rather than having the court decide these issues.

This article will discuss how to establish custody, child Support, spousal support & community property with an Uncontested Divorce.

In Louisiana, custody, child support, spousal support, and community property partitions are what are referred to as “incidental actions” to a divorce. This means you can file those actions with your divorce or you can file them subsequent to your divorce filing. You do not waive your right to custody, child support, spousal support, or community property partition if you do not file them in the same petition as your divorce. There are many options for filing these incidental actions when you file your uncontested divorce, as we will discuss below.

Some spouses decide that they do not need a court order regarding any incidental issues – whether because there are no issues present in their marriage or they do not want the court to be involved – and that is fine. Some spouses prefer to file their incidental actions with their petition for divorce and submit the Consent Judgment during the divorce proceeding. Others prefer to handle their divorce first then enter any consent judgments on incidental actions. We do recommend that if there are incidental issues you and your spouse agree on, that you consider formalizing those agreements with the court. It is always better to get an agreement in writing when you are on good terms with your spouse since you never know what may happen down the road.

When the parties come to an agreement on incidental actions, the attorney will draw up what is referred to as a “Consent Judgment.” A Consent Judgment puts your agreement into a form accepted by the court. Both parties and the attorney sign the Consent Judgment and the document is filed with the court. Once the judge signs the Consent Judgment, it is an official, enforceable order of the court. A Consent Judgment may cover one, some, or all of the incidental actions available. Obviously, you will not need a consent judgment on custody or child support if you do not share any minor children with your spouse. Below we will discuss each incidental action in turn.

Custody

A consent judgment on custody may cover any of the following issues: type of legal custody – joint v. sole custody, domiciliary parent, physical custody schedule, holiday and vacation schedules, child tax credits, and other guidelines the parents will follow in co-parenting their children. You can learn more about custody consent judgments here. A custody consent judgment can be filed as soon as a petition for divorce and custody is filed with the court. If you decide not to file your custody consent judgment at the same time as your divorce, it can be filed at any time until your youngest child turns 18 or graduates from college, whichever is later.

Child Support

A consent judgment on child support will outline the child support payments made to one parent by the other parent. These payments may include a monthly payment, as well as contributions to tuition and other expenses of the children. You can learn more about how child support is calculated here and here. A child support consent judgment can be filed as soon as a petition for divorce and child support is filed with the court. If you decide not to file your custody consent judgment at the same time as your divorce, it can be filed at any time until your youngest child turns 18 or graduates from college, whichever is later.

Spousal Support

A consent judgment on spousal support will outline the spousal support payments made by one spouse to the other. There are two types of spousal support in Louisiana – interim and final. Temporary spousal support is based upon the lifestyle of the parties while married, the payor’s resources and ability to pay and the needs of the person being supported, considering that marital lifestyle. Final support is intended to permit one party to meet their basic living expenses when they are in “necessitous circumstances,” in other words, could not make a basic living on their own. A spousal support consent judgment can be filed as soon as a petition for divorce and spousal support is filed with the court. If you decide not to file your spousal support consent judgment at the same time as your divorce, it can be filed within three years following the signing of your judgment of divorce.

Community Property Partition

A consent judgment on community property will outline how all community debt and assets will be separated between the parties. It is strongly recommended that you work with an attorney to prepare a consent judgment partitioning community property. A consent judgment partitioning community property can be filed after your judgment of divorce is granted, or thirty days after you file your petition after filing additional paperwork with the court. If you decide not to file your community property consent judgment at the same time as your divorce, it can be filed within ten years following the signing of your judgment of divorce.

If you have questions regarding any incidental matters or potential consent judgments, you can reach a Louisiana Divorce lawyer today at Rotharmel Shanks, LLC by calling us at 504-509-5000 or scheduling a call here.

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