If you are currently going through a divorce, or you are about to begin the divorce process, there are a few things you need to know. While everyone’s divorce is a little different, there are a few terms and phrases that are applicable to most couples and are good to know before the legal proceedings begin. Having at least a general understanding of these go-to divorce terms can help make the divorce process much less confusing and may even speed it along.
Common divorce terms in Louisiana include:
Alimony: Also called spousal support, alimony is the payment of financial support from one spouse to another. Not all divorces will include alimony payments, but many do, especially if one spouse was the key breadwinner and the other spouse did not work.
Annulment: An annulment is the dissolution of a marriage, which makes it as if it never took place, from a legal standpoint. Not all marriages will qualify for an annulment, as it is only available in limited circumstances.
Community Property: The community property in a marriage is the shared assets owned by you and your spouse. All property may be considered either separate, (independently owned by either spouse), or communal, (shared). In a divorce, all assets in the marriage will be identified as community property or separate property so that they can then be divided fairly between each spouse.
Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements: Both postnuptial and prenuptial agreements can be used to outline how a divorce or separation will be handled, should such an event take place. A prenuptial agreement is signed before the marriage, whereas a postnuptial agreement takes place while a couple is married.
Modifications: Not all court orders are final, and modifications, or changes to those orders, can be obtained in certain circumstances. Modifications typically apply to spousal support, child support, child custody, as far as matters of divorce are concerned, though they can apply elsewhere. If you or your ex-spouse suffers a financial setback, relocates, loses his or her job, or faces some other big change, modifications may be in order.