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Craig E. Gibbs, Attorney at Law - Criminal, Family Law, Attorney
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Documents needed when filing for child support

Parents who request child support in Louisiana need to be prepared to present documents along with their requests. Many cases can be started online or at the local Office of Child Support Enforcement. Even in states that allow parents who are seeking child support to fill out an initial online application, it's important to bring required documents to the local office.

Parents who are seeking child support should expect to bring a birth certificate and valid photo identification to their appointment with the office of child support enforcement. They will need to provide any known contact information for the non-custodial parent.

When holiday parties lead to DUI stops

One thing that the residents of New Orleans know how to do is throw a party. During the holidays, you could end up attending several of them, and more than likely, there will be alcohol. Having a few drinks with friends, co-workers or family may not seem harmful, but if you get behind the wheel afterward, it could cause a great deal of harm.

More than likely, you wouldn't consider drinking and driving, so when you left that holiday party, you probably felt as though you were okay to drive. Then, your luck changed, and a police officer pulled you over for one reason or another. Now, you face arrest for DUI as the officer brings out a breath-testing machine.

Challenges parents may face in parallel parenting

Some parents in Louisiana who are getting a divorce want to protect their children from tension, but their relationship might be so high-conflict that this is difficult to do. Instead of co-parenting, which requires a high volume of communication and the ability to cooperate, these parents might want to consider parallel parenting.

Research indicates that it is more the conflict between parents than the divorce itself that is most damaging to children. If children are protected from this conflict, they may adjust better. Parallel parenting prevents their exposure to this conflict by keeping parents apart even if they share custody or one has visitation rights. The first step for parallel parents is to create a detailed and highly structured plan that will reduce the likelihood of misunderstandings or conflict. They should also set up an indirect method for communicating. This might be email.

Louisiana residents often consume alcohol for these reasons

Do you look forward to kicking back on weekends, perhaps with a glass of wine or your favorite mixed drink? After all, you work hard all week and you have a right to enjoy your free time, right? There is nothing necessarily inherently or legally wrong with consuming alcohol, provided you act in accordance with state laws that govern such matters. If, for instance, you are not age 21 or older, then your alcohol habit might land you in a heap of legal trouble.

Even if you are of legal age to imbibe, any number of problems can arise in alcohol-related situations that put your future at risk, such as a police officer suspecting you of drunk driving. Like all people who choose to consume alcohol, you must make responsible choices that help keep you and travelers with whom you share the road as safe as possible.

Prenups aren't just for the wealthy

When Louisiana couples plan to marry, they usually don't want to think about the potential for divorce. In many cases, however, a prenuptial agreement can help partners not only prepare for divorce but also consider how their relationship will affect other financial and legal ties. While people often think of prenups as only for celebrities or the extremely wealthy, there are a number of different factors that people can include in an agreement before marriage.

An increasing number of Americans are choosing prenuptial agreements before marriage. In fact, over 60 percent of family law attorneys in one study said they had seen a rise in the number of people seeking prenups. As Louisiana is a community property state, many people may want to arrange for a different distribution of their assets in case of a divorce. In fact, some investors in startup businesses may require their founders to sign prenuptial agreements before agreeing to provide funds.

Drunk driving limit to be lowered in Utah

Drunk driving laws in Louisiana and across the country are already strict, but they may be getting tougher. The standard legal blood alcohol content limit is .08 percent in all states and the District of Columbia. However, on Dec. 30, Utah will lead the way in introducing a lower BAC of .05 percent. This represents a significant reduction from the current legal limit and a much tougher standards; it could also lead to significantly more arrests for drunk driving.

Polls indicate that a majority of Americans favor this approach; one survey said that 55 percent of respondents supported a national decrease in the BAC limit to .05 percent. Every day, around 30 people lose their lives in car accidents linked to drunk driving, and the cost of these crashes can amount to over $44 billion annually. While some advocates urge the use of ignition interlocks, car-installed breathalyzer devices that prevent a vehicle from operating when the driver is over the limit, others urge a reduced BAC limit and greater use of sobriety checkpoints by police.

Understanding your rights regarding field sobriety tests

Have you ever been driving somewhere when unexpected circumstances arise and you have to immediately change your plans for reaching your ultimate destination? For instance, perhaps you've been on a Louisiana road when you suddenly come upon detour signs. Having to change your route, especially if you're unfamiliar with the area, can be quite stressful.  

Another situation that can immediately cause stress levels to soar is a traffic stop. If you see a patrol car's red and blue lights flashing in your rearview mirror, you might go from feeling relaxed and enjoying a favorite song on your car radio to feeling your blood pressure skyrocket. If the police officer thinks you've been drinking, he or she may ask you to take field sobriety tests to determine if there's probable cause to arrest you.  

Money may increase a couple's chance of divorce

For those who don't have it, or more precisely don't have enough of it, money can seem like a cure to all the world's ills. For those who have experienced how damaging is the blind pursuit of it and the excesses it can lead to, money may truly be considered the root of all evil. The truth probably lies somewhere in between.

Many married couples have sufficient resources and do not have difficulty paying their bills. Financial observers report that where both work and contribute to the economic stability of the household, they fare better in keeping the marriage on track. Where one of the pair is the primary breadwinner, traditionally the man but not always, there is often more stress on that individual in the form of long hours at work and perhaps extensive travel. That is not a good formula for an enduring relationship.

What do you need to know if charged with domestic violence?

It can be overwhelming and confusing to face criminal charges or allegations of criminal behavior of any kind. Your future and freedom are on the line, and it is in your interests to know how to protect yourself and build a strong defense. This is especially true for Louisiana individuals facing domestic violence charges.

Domestic violence allegations can have immediate repercussions on your life. Meaning, a protective order can go into effect immediately, which may mean you cannot go home, see your kids and do other things. It is smart to take quick action to defend yourself and shield your future interests.

Gray divorce and protecting retirement

Louisiana residents who are at least 50 years old and are thinking about getting a divorce may be concerned about how it may affect their retirement. However, there are steps they can take that can mitigate how much harm a divorce may have on their financial security for retirement.

Before they make any financial decisions, older divorcing adults should be aware of the tax implications. It is important that they know what they have in pretax and post-tax assets and how those assets are likely to be taxed throughout the years.

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Craig E. Gibbs, Attorney at Law
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