Louisiana Alimony and Spousal Support Laws
Louisiana courts have wide discretion to grant alimony in divorce cases where it is in the interests of justice to do so. The court will consider all factors in determining the amount and duration of support, including fault.
Types of Spousal Support
- Temporary – may be granted during the time between filing for divorce and the courts final disposition.
- Short-Term – may be granted for a short period of time.
- Long-Term or Permanent – may be granted indefinitely until the court orders termination or modification.
Who is Eligible for Alimony in Louisiana
A court may order alimony for either party according to Louisiana law. The obligation to pay depends on the resources and needs of each spouse.
Louisiana Alimony Guidelines (Factors for Awarding Alimony)
Where a spouse is not at fault and seeks alimony, the alimony must exceed one-third of the other spouse's income unless it is paid in a lump-sum payment. The factors that the court will consider include:
- Income, means and assets of the spouses;
- Obligations of spouses;
- Earning capacity of spouses;
- Time necessary to acquire education, training or employment;
- Health and age of spouses and obligations to dependent children;
- Tax consequences; and
- Any other factors that court deems just.
Reasons for Termination or Modification of Alimony in Louisiana
The party seeking modification or termination must petition the court. Generally, a change in circumstances is enough of a reason for the court to at least consider the petition. Remarriage and cohabitation by the receiving spouse are justifications for modification.
Marital Fault in Louisiana
Louisiana permits fault divorces or no-fault divorces based on living separate and apart for six months. That a spouse desires a divorce is grounds for divorce in Louisiana. There is no marital breakdown requirement.
How Long Does Spousal Support Last in Louisiana?
Alimony is usually paid monthly, but it may be paid in a lump sum. Monthly spousal support is paid until a court terminates it or the receiving party remarries. The length of support depends on the circumstances and will be laid out in the settlement agreement, unless it is indefinite.
Louisiana Alimony Taxes
The spouse paying for support of another spouse may claim the payments as a deduction for tax purposes, and the spouse receiving support is to claim the payments as income. There may be ways to structure your agreement so that it is not considered income. To learn more, discuss your settlement agreement with an attorney.
Find an Alimony Attorney in Louisiana
A Louisiana family law attorney can help you figure out the best way to approach your divorce. The impact of alimony can be great. You should get the help of a professional to protect your assets and future income.