How much does it cost to speak to you? Are your consultations free?
There is an in-office consultation fee of $200. Feel free to call us with any questions prior to your visit. With years of experience as a personal injury and family law attorney, choose Dean Esposito as your local law firm in Baton Rouge, LA.
I am getting a divorce - do I need an attorney?
If you are getting a divorce, you need to consult with a divorce attorney. Usually, there are more issues than just the divorce such as child custody, child support, use of the family home, payment of bills and debt, use of the vehicles, etc. These issues can be raised in your petition for divorce and addressed by the court relatively quickly. It is highly advisable for you to retain a divorce attorney should you have any of these issues.
What are the legal grounds for obtaining a divorce in Louisiana?
Louisiana is no fault divorce state. This means that you do not have to allege fault to obtain a divorce. If there are no children born during the marriage, you need to live separate and apart without reconciliation for 180 days to obtain a divorce, 365 days if you have a child or children.
There are certain instances in which you can obtain an immediate divorce such as adultery or if you have been a victim of domestic violence. You would have to specifically plead these grounds to obtain an immediate divorce, and may have to participate in a trial in order to obtain a judgment of divorce based on these grounds. Our divorce attorney services will guide you through the divorce process to ensure that all legal grounds are met.
Who determines how assets are divided in a divorce?
While a divorce is pending, the parties can request that the court award them use of certain assets pending the divorce or pending the partition of community property if they cannot agree upon such by themselves. In dividing ownership of community assets, the parties can negotiate through their attorneys a settlement or division of such or they can file the appropriate pleadings requesting that the court do so.
How is child support determined in a divorce or child support case?
Child support is calculated on the gross income of the mother and father. If self-employed, it is calculated based upon gross receipts minus necessary business expenses. There is a schedule of support or child support guidelines which provides the total amount of the child support to be paid based upon the combined adjusted gross monthly income of the father and mother and the number of children. You then have to perform a calculation that is determined on the type of custody the parties exercise - shared or equal custody or not. Dean Esposito is an experienced child custody attorney that can guide you through this process.
What happens if a parent doesn't pay court-ordered child support?
If a parent does not pay his/her court-ordered child support obligation, then he/she has violated a court order or judgment. The other parent can file a Motion for Contempt and for Child Support Arrearages against the parent who has not paid child support. If the party who files this motion proves his/her case, the Court may find the other party in contempt of court, order the parent in contempt to serve a jail sentence, calculate the amount of arrearages owed, order to the payor to pay a certain amount per month towards the arrearage, award attorney's fees and court courts , and order the payor of child support to pay future child support through an income assignment order which is similar to a garnishment of wages.