Baton Rouge Family Law Attorney
Family law matters – such as divorce and child custody cases – are among the most complicated, time consuming, expensive, and emotionally charged cases litigated in U.S. courtrooms. It’s so easy for these cases to end unfairly and unjustly, with one person (or even a child) not receiving the outcome they desperately need to have a good quality of life moving forward. That’s why it’s crucial for all parties involved to arm themselves with the strongest legal representation in LA. Baton Rouge family law attorneys at the Law Offices of Ossie Brown are the best legal team to have on your side during such an impossible time.
The Law Offices of Ossie Brown is among the top personal injury, criminal defense, and family law firms in the Baton Rouge area. We are passionate about defending the legal rights of our clients and ensuring that they receive the best, and most just, outcome in their family law cases. Call 225-343-1111 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced family law attorney in Baton Rouge, LA today.
What is Family Law?
Family law is a legal specialization that includes all sorts of family and domestic relations issues. Common types of family law cases include:
- Contested and uncontested divorce;
- Divorce related practice areas such as annulments, spousal support, division of marital property, prenuptial agreements and postnuptial agreements, protection orders for situations involving domestic violence, and more;
- Child custody plans, visitation rights, and child support for divorced couples with children;
- Child protective services in situations involving abuse or neglect;
- Establishing or de-establishing paternity through DNA testing;
- Adoption, foster care, surrogacy, and guardianship.
This is not an exhaustive list of all family-related practice areas, just the ones that most family lawyers in the U.S. handle. All family law firms are different, and some may only take on specific types of cases.
Our Family Law Practice Areas
At the Law Offices of Ossie Brown, our experienced team of family lawyers offer a wide range of family law services, including divorce litigation as well as child custody and child support agreements. We are dedicated to protecting the legal rights of divorced spouses and their children in and out of family court.
The old saying, “about 50% of marriages end in divorce,” still rings largely true in the United States. However, both marriage and divorce rates have been on a steady decline over the last 20 years.
In 2021, the marriage rate in the United States was 6 per 1,000 total population, totaling over 1,985,000 marriages that year according to data from the CDC. The divorce rate that same year was 2.5 per 1,000 total population, totaling over 689,000 divorces. Since the year 2000, both marriages and divorces have been on a steady decline; marriages declined from a rate of 8.2 while divorces declined from a rate of 4.
Both marriage and divorce has been a frequent area of study, because everyone wants to know: what makes a marriage last? And what are the top reasons why spouses eventually separate? According to a 2005 survey, the top reasons for divorce include:
- Lack of commitment
- Frequent conflict
- Getting married too young
- Unrealistic expectations about marriage/partner
- Partner inequality
- Poor marriage preparation
- Domestic abuse
- Financial instability and conflict about money
- Conflict about household and domestic work
- Poor family support
- Religious differences
Regardless of the reasoning behind the eventual deterioration of a relationship, divorce remains among the top 10 greatest life stressors that a person can endure. Even if you and your spouse decide to split amicably, there are a lot of affairs to get in order. It’s always a good idea for each spouse to arm themselves with an experienced family law attorney once they have been served divorce papers. At the Law Offices of Ossie Brown, our divorce attorneys will make sure that your legal rights are protected, your marital property is divided fairly, and your children receive the financial support they need from your ex-spouse.
At the Law Offices of Ossie Brown, our family lawyers handle both contested and uncontested divorces.
A contested divorce means that spouses do not agree on the terms of their divorce, such as child custody plans, alimony, and division of marital property. These types of divorce cases are often messier, more expensive, more complicated, and more time-consuming, which is why it’s crucial to work with a Baton Rouge family lawyer. We will protect your legal rights, stand by your side in family court, and ensure you receive the best possible divorce outcome under the circumstances.
Meanwhile, an uncontested divorce is one where each spouse agrees on all marital affairs. These types of divorces are generally inexpensive, quick, and as amicable as can be expected given the circumstances. Some spouses may not even need legal counsel, however, it’s never a bad idea to have a family law attorney at the Law Offices of Ossie Brown on speed dial.
Can You Get a Divorce in a Covenant Marriage in Louisiana?
Yes, you can get a divorce in a covenant marriage, but it’s more complicated and difficult to do so. Firstly, let’s break down what a covenant marriage is in Louisiana.
According to Louisiana law (RS 9:272), a covenant marriage is basically a vow between husband and wife to remain in the marriage forever, no matter what happens. Only three U.S. states have covenant marriages, and they are: Louisiana, Arkansas, and Arizona.
Upon entering the covenant marriage, the two spouses have to sign a declaration of intent that states:
- The husband and wife will live together forever.
- The spouses have carefully chosen each other and have told each other “everything which could adversely affect” the marriage.
- Both spouses have endured premarital counseling together.
- If the spouses endure marital conflict or strains of any kind, they must do everything they can to save the marriage, including undergoing further marital counseling.
- The husband and wife must undergo premarital counseling with a religious clergy member, such as a priest, rabbi, or minister.
Spouses in a covenant marriage can divorce, but Louisiana law mandates that they must endure marital counseling first. If marital counseling proves to be unsuccessful, spouses in a covenant marriage can only separate for the following reasons listed in RS 9:307:
- A spouse has committed adultery.
- A spouse has committed a felony crime and is facing life imprisonment or the death penalty.
- One spouse has physically or sexually abused the other spouse or child.
- One spouse has left the home for at least 1 year and has refused to return.
- Both spouses have lived separately without any reconciliation for at least 2 years.
If you are in a covenant marriage and are looking for a way out, it’s important to contact an experienced family law attorney at the Law Offices of Ossie Brown. We can protect your legal rights, help you prove that one of the aforementioned situations has occurred in your marriage, and help you successfully file for divorce.
One of the many reasons why divorces are so complicated in the U.S. is because many divorcing spouses have children together. In fact, the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) estimates that 61% of couples who are divorcing from their first marriage have children under the age of 18 years old.
Not only do you have to worry about the life and wellbeing of yourself, but you have to worry about the life and wellbeing of your child as well. Most parents want to remain active in their child’s life and development, so the child’s living situation can be a very complicated decision, especially when the parents’ emotions are running high. Additionally, there are so many factors that can further complicate a child custody case, such as:
- Whether or not one or both parents are abusive, neglectful, or mentally unstable.
- The living location of each parent in respect to the child’s school.
- The type of job and working hours of each parent.
- Whether or not one or both parents are financially unstable.
- Whether or not the child has physical or mental disabilities that require specific medical care.
- The child’s wishes and overall well being.
It is the job of family law judges and lawyers to come up with child custody plans that best benefit all parties involved: the parents and the child(ren). This may mean 50/50 custody between the parents, one parent having full custody, or something in between.
Another complicated aspect of child custody cases is child support. Because the divorced parents are no longer raising a child under a joint income (or in some cases, a single income), the noncustodial parent is then mandated by the court to provide monthly child support payments to the custodial parent.
Every state uses a different formula or method to calculate monthly child support payments. Once both parents fill out documents detailing their jobs and financial situations, family law judges take these factors into account:
- How much time the child spends with each parent;
- Health insurance and medical expenses for the child;
- Daycare costs;
- And the child’s age.
From there, judges will calculate a fair payment amount that should cover all or most monthly child expenses.
If you’re trying to get an idea of what your child support payments will look like ahead of time, so that you can make appropriate arrangements, this Louisiana child support calculator may help. Even still, it’s important to consult with a Baton Rouge family lawyer at our law firm to determine an exact child support payment amount.
Call Baton Rouge Family Law Attorneys at the Law Offices of Ossie Brown TodayIf you’re looking to start the divorce or child custody process in the Baton Rouge area, it’s crucial to seek experienced legal representation from the Law Offices of Ossie Brown. Our legal team has decades of combined experience dealing with family law matters, personal injury claims, criminal defense cases, and even estate planning. Our goal is to always provide our clients with the best possible case outcome given their circumstances. You can trust that we’ll protect your legal rights, walk with you through the entire legal process, and prioritize you (and your child’s) well being. Contact our law office today by calling 225-343-1111. We offer free consultations to all new clients.
Let us review your case at no cost to you. We want to take the time to get to know you and understand your legal goals and objectives.
Why Our Clients Trust Us
Your Law Firm for a Lifetime.
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Ossie Brown are skilled in several practice areas and ready to discuss your case. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.