The alimony laws governing spousal support in Louisiana is different from what is obtainable in other states. Read further to grasp the peculiarity of the LA alimony law.
Also referred to as “spousal support” or “spousal maintenance” in Pelican State, alimony is the series of payments made by one spouse (the payor spouse) to another (the supported or payee spouse) after the divorce.
Before the alimony payments commence, there has to be a written order or agreement which requires the payor to support the payee with a stipulated amount of money.
This agreement eliminates any disputes in the future about why the payment was made or when it’s not made.
All 50 states in America are alimony states, meaning states that have enacted laws permitting a spouse who cannot work full time or with a lower income to request payments from the other spouse to support themselves after a divorce.
Type of Alimony Laws Practiced in LA
In Louisiana, judges might grant one of two types of spousal support: interim, periodic, or permanent. (La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 111 (2018). Interim support is spousal support paid by one spouse to the other while the divorce is being finalized. After a divorce, spouses can get both temporary and permanent support.
Interim (Temporary) Spousal Support in Louisiana
Despite the fact that spouses are physically separated during the divorce procedure, they remain married until the divorce decision is issued. During the marriage, spouses owe each other substantial assistance. A spouse who is in need of support can petition the court in LA for temporary spousal support.
Final Periodic Spousal Support in LA
This refers to the court’s ultimate spousal support decision. The paying spouse is responsible for covering support in accordance with the conditions of the support order. If it becomes required, if your former spouse dies, or if you remarry, your final periodic spousal support will terminate. Spousal support can be waived, and any party can request a revision if the situation changes.
Some divorcees agree to make a one-time payment to cover their support obligations following the divorce. This is a legally binding agreement that specifies the parameters of support, including when or how much the paying partner must pay. In certain cases, spousal support terminates according to the contract’s conditions.
Who Pays Alimony in Louisiana?
In Louisiana alimony law, the spouse that makes most of the money will share that income with the other spouse. The idea behind who pays for alimony is to considerably level up the living standard of the dependent spouse to what it was while the marriage was on.
Regarding the sex that pays, alimony in Pelican State is gender-neutral, meaning either spouse can request support from the other. As long as the alimony can be provided to the requesting spouse, then it will most likely be granted.
So a husband can receive alimony from a wife in Louisiana if the above conditions are met.
How Long Does Spousal Support Last in LA?
The length of spousal support payments in Louisiana is determined by the type of alimony awarded. When the marriage is officially dissolved, temporary spousal assistance ends. When the recipient party is no longer in need, remarries, dies, or cohabits with another person – that is, living with another person as if they were married – post-divorce spousal assistance ends.
Couples may also agree to pay “lump sum” alimony in the event of a divorce. This is essentially a contract between the payor and the payee in which the payor agrees to pay the payee a specific amount of money in one lump sum over a set period of time, complete with a repayment plan. The duration of this sort of alimony is determined by the conditions of the agreement.
How to Collect Spousal Support Arrears in Louisiana
When it comes to collecting spousal support in Louisiana, you have a few choices if your ex-spouse has failed to make alimony payments as ordered by the court. Debts for spousal support are frequently given priority among debtors under US law.
Factors That Influence Alimony Payment in Louisiana
The average amount payable as spousal support in Louisiana after divorce is determined by various factors. But the major factor you have to understand is “the standard of living of the marriage.”
To determine the final amounts for rehabilitative and permanent support in LA, the courts in LA takes into consideration the income of the spouses, plus other factors like:
- earning capacity of each spouse.
- the ability of the paying spouse to pay, considering assets, the standard of living, earning capacity, as well as earned and unearned income.
- the extent of contribution the supported spouse gave to the other’s educational pursuit or professional license during the marriage
- how long the marriage lasted
- the needs of each spouse
- the assets and debts of each spouse including separate property
- each party’s tax consequences
- the ability of the supported spouse to gain employment without interfering with their children’s care
- each spouse’s health and age
- each party’s balance of hardships
- whether there is a documented history of domestic violence against the children or either party
- will the dependent spouse be self-supporting within a reasonable period
- any criminal conviction of an abusive spouse
- any other factors which the court wishes to consider
This is the main measure the court uses to determine the amount to be paid in Pelican State. The principle behind the standard of living of the marriage is that after the marriage breakup, both spouses should continue living within the same standard they lived while the marriage lasted.
How Alimony is Calculated in LA
The amount to be paid as spousal support in Louisiana is calculated after considering the above-stated factors. Whichever option is adopted it is reflected in the Alimony Calculator
Importance of Using a Skilled Louisiana Spousal Support Attorney
If you’re getting a divorce in Louisiana and need to negotiate or re-negotiate spousal support, you’ve definitely got a lot of questions and want to seek competent legal guidance. Though state Supreme Courts have supported lifetime spousal support, your circumstances may or may not fulfill the requirements. LA courts may judge your case differently based on the merits of you and your previous spouse. There are so many variables to consider.
If you want to get spousal support for the rest of your life or if you want to fight against it in Louisiana, an expert divorce lawyer can help. Depending on the objective and the desire of the adversary attorney to bargain in good faith, you’ll need attorneys that are both empathetic and strong.
For the convenience of our members, we have an up-to-date directory of LA divorce and spousal support attorneys who can help with a variety of issues. For legal advice and representation on spousal support that is powerful and well-informed.
FAQ About Louisiana Alimony Laws
Here are Frequently Asked Questions about spousal support laws in LA:
Can a Husband get Alimony in LA?
Yes. In Louisiana, alimony payment is gender-neutral, meaning the sex that pays or receives is not the main determinant, but other factors as stated above. For details click here.
Who Qualifies for Alimony in Louisiana?
Just as either spouse can pay or receive, the party that qualifies to receive spousal support is the dependent party while the marriage lasted. This means that in LA, the spouse that had lesser or no income when the marriage was on is also the one qualified to receive alimony. Click here for details
How Long do you have to be Married to get Alimony in LA?
To understand how long alimony lasts in Louisiana, you have to take into consideration how long the marriage lasted.
However, bear in mind that there is no limit to the duration you can pay or receive alimony for marriages that lasted 10-20 years or more. Any marriage that lasted below 20 years will not pay nor receive alimony that exceeds 50% of the duration of the marriage.
Is Alimony Tax Deductible in Louisiana?
Following the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which altered the link between alimony and taxes dramatically in Louisiana and all over the US, alimony payments are no longer tax deductible for the payer and are no longer recognized as income for the recipient spouse as of January 1, 2019.
Is Alimony Mandatory in Pelican State?
Alimony is mandatory in Louisiana as long as one of the spouses earns or owns assets that can be relied upon to support the other spouse after the marriage breaks down.
Can Alimony be increased in Louisiana?
Alimony amount or duration can be increased or decreased due to changes in the financial circumstances of the parties in different ways, including:
- an increase or decrease in the income of the alimony recipient
- if it’s determined that the original alimony awarded is inadequate
- loss to the alimony recipient’s financial assets
- an increase in the justified expenses of the alimony recipient
- when the financial condition of the receiving spouse fails to improve as originally expected
Can you go to Jail for Not Paying Spousal Support in LA?
Technically, you will not be jailed for not paying alimony in Louisiana. While there are varying consequences for not paying alimony, you can still end up in jail as a result. Here is how.
If it’s a Louisiana court-ordered spousal support that you refuse to pay, it means you are in violation of a court order meaning you can be prosecuted for being in contempt of court if contempt proceedings are brought up against you. This could attract a jail term in LA}.
How to Modify Spousal Support in LA?
When necessary, Louisiana law allows for a spousal support modification. When it comes to alimony, courts in LA usually try to do their best to create judgments that are fair and effective in the long run. Nevertheless, conditions change over time, and these changes may compel a revision or modification of the initial order.
When filing for a spousal support modification in Louisiana, keep in mind that the courts will only entertain the motion if there has been a significant and long-term change in circumstances. A brief problem is unlikely to be significant enough to warrant a revision in the initial alimony ruling. Likewise, dissatisfaction with the support order is not a valid reason for a revision in LA.
The following are some of the most common reasons for requesting an alimony modification in Louisiana:
- Changes in income or employment
- Birth of a new child
- Health changes, including disability
- A new dependent
How to Avoid or End Spousal Support in LA?
In Pelican State, the spouse paying the alimony can successfully avoid or stop the alimony payment if he/she is able to prove any or all of the following points:
- that the dependent spouse is guilty of infidelity
- the spouse proves that he has no source of income
- the spouse remarries and has to take care of the new spouse however, he/she will continue paying the child support for children if any
- if the spouse is disabled and unable to earn a living
Alimony Laws in all 50 States
A Alabama | Alaska | Arizona | Arkansas
C California | Colorado | Connecticut
D-H Delaware | Florida | Georgia | Hawaii
I Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Iowa
K-L Kansas | Kentucky | Louisiana
M Maine | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana
N Nebraska | Nevada | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New Mexico | New York | North Carolina | North Dakota
O Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon
P-S Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | South Carolina | South Dakota
T-U Tennessee | Texas | Utah
V-W Vermont | Virginia | Washington | West Virginia | Wisconsin | Wyoming