In the State of Louisiana we have laws that govern property shared between spouses while they are married to one another. The property rights are generally community property rights. Community property rights confer very real ownerships interests to the spouse just by virtue of the fact that they are married to each other while they acquire this property. Consult with a divorce lawyer, however, as there are numerous ways that such property may not be classified as community and a huge number of exceptions that apply to community property.
This distinction is much more significant than simply using two different words to classify the property. A spouse with no community property interests in a marriage and no separate property interests either very well could hypothetically left with no community in the event of divorce. On the flip side a spouse with no separate property interests but with community property interests may generally be entitled to an entire half of all the property earned by the spouses during the marriage.
Let us say for an example that we have a married couple Kat and Tim. Kat works as a receptionist at a local law firm that does primarily family law work. Tim works as a longshoreman on the Mississippi river. Shortly after the two get married, Tim inherits one million dollars from his aunt, Tiffany. Inheritances are typically considered the separate property of the spouse who inherited them. Absent other facts or circumstances not presented in this hypothetical, if Tim’s Metairie divorce attorney ends the marriage, Kat may not have any ownership interest in any of the money that Tim received from his relative, or any of the property that that money was used to purchase without the addition of either community funds or separate funds of Kat.
To use another example, let us say Todd and Sarah are married. Todd is a financial broker who makes a yearly salary of nearly one hundred and ninety seven thousand dollars. Todd and Sarah do not have a matrimonial agreement (what is commonly known as pre-nup or post-nup). Sarah on the other hand does not work at all. She does not take care of the spouse’s children either. Rather, she spends most of her days recreationally, either with various athletic instructors, who Todd is able to pay for by virtue of his hefty salary and yearly earnings. In the event that Sarah’s divorce attorney ends the parties marriage and that Sarah contributed little to nothing to the community property regime shared between them she will still be entitled under Louisiana community property law to one half of the money which Todd made as financial broker working in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The two above examples in stark contrast the same salient point of community property law here in Louisiana. This is that the difference between community and separate property can be prodigious.
The above is provided as general information on the law — this is not legal advice. Please consult with an attorney for any legal questions here at http://wbeaumont.com/neworleansfamilylaw. William H. Beaumont. New Orleans and Metairie, Louisiana.
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