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Drawing up a workable parenting schedule

Unless they are relying on a judge's decision, Louisiana parents will need to create a parenting schedule as part of the divorce process. This schedule will specify which parent the child spends time with at what times. By working on it cooperatively, parents can demonstrate to their children that family matters are paramount.

Parents should take a number of factors into account while creating the schedule. Children's extracurricular activities, how they will get to school and even the preferences of older children may all affect what the final parenting schedule looks like. Parents can expect to be inconvenienced sometimes by the schedule since the needs of the children should come first. There may be additional considerations for children with special needs.

Did police search your car during a traffic stop?

When you're sharing a roadway with a Louisiana police officer, you may wonder whether he or she will wind up pulling you over in a traffic stop. Most people become immediately conscious of their traveling speed in such circumstances, perhaps looking at their speedometer to check exactly how fast they're going. It's not uncommon to feel nervous if you glance in your rear-view mirror and see a police patrol car traveling behind you.

If flashing lights signal you to pull over, it can be challenging to find a safe and swift way to comply in the midst of traffic on a busy highway. Such situations can be mere inconveniences that last no more than a few moments or can quickly escalate into a serious legal problem, especially if the officer searches your person or your vehicle and arrests you on suspicion of a crime. It's important to understand search and seizure laws ahead of time, should the arresting officer violate your rights. 

Resolving estate plan issues during a divorce

While going through a divorce is complex enough for more estranged Louisiana couples, ending a marriage has a number of other issues that need to be addressed before the divorce is actually finalized. One of these important issues is reviewing an estate plan.

One of the first things a person should do is change his or her power of attorney. If a durable power of attorney was signed, the former spouse still has access to all marital accounts and assets even while the person is still competent. This includes separate property, such as an inheritance. The power of attorney should be revoked, especially if the divorce is not amicable. Further, the person's will should also be updated so that the former spouse is not in charge of his or her estate. An alternate guardian can be determined in the event that the former spouse becomes unfit to care for any children.

Does the type of alcoholic beverage impact intoxication?

You may be like many other New Orleans residents who like to indulge in alcoholic beverages now and again. You likely have many opportunities to consume alcohol whether you are relaxing at home or are out at a party. While you could have a go-to drink that you consume regularly, you may also not feel afraid to try out different types of beverages depending on your mood and the venue.

Of course, if you have work the next day or do not feel like letting yourself go too much, the thought may cross your mind to simply stick with beer as other beverages may affect you more drastically. However, that notion may not be entirely correct. As of now, researchers have not found a definitive answer as to whether the type of alcoholic beverage consumed has a greater impact on an individual.

Avoiding financial pitfalls during divorce

When couples in Louisiana divorce, they can face several challenges. While there is a range of emotional issues that can accompany the end of a relationship, the separation can also have many long-lasting financial effects. By keeping in mind some key issues, one can protect themselves throughout the divorce process and post-divorce era of their lives.

The asset division process generally presumes that both parties will continue in their present situation for the foreseeable future. Ultimately, the process should ensure an equitable split of the couple's marital assets. However, divorce settlements can also include forward-looking obligations like spousal support or agreements about how a child's educational costs will be covered in the future. These agreements often do not include exceptions that address financial changes or hardships that could occur in the future. By building in the purchase of insurance into the settlement or creating clauses that address these types of changes, exes can protect themselves while creating a workable plan.

Stricter laws could reduce alcohol crashes

Over a million people were taken into custody for drunk driving throughout the country in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, it represents just 1 percent of those who reported drinking while driving in the United States annually. To be considered driving while under the influence of alcohol, a Louisiana motorist in most cases needs to have a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher.

Researchers say that enacting tougher alcohol policies can reduce the number of motor vehicle crashes caused by alcohol consumption in America. A study published in JAMA found that a 10 percent increase in alcohol laws can result in a 10 percent drop in such crashes. The study's conclusion was reached by looking at more than 500,000 crash fatalities using the Fatality Analysis Reporting System.

Are you at risk for legal trouble re prescription drugs?

Perhaps you had always enjoyed your weekly pick-up games of basketball at a local gym before you suffered an injury that left you dealing with chronic pain. Getting together with friends after work, running off a bit of stress and getting some physical exercise helped you stay in shape and lead an active lifestyle. The day you twisted your back, you had an inkling that your future was about to change, but perhaps didn't realize just how much.

There are many reasons Louisiana doctors prescribe drugs to treat patients. Relieving pain is one of them. When you first took a prescribed narcotic after your basketball injury, you may have felt significant relief, thus making you want to stick with that particular course of treatment. The problem is that many prescription drugs are highly addictive. Drug addiction can wreak havoc on your health and also lead to legal problems. The key to overcoming drug-related problems often lies in the type of support you access.

How to convince someone a prenuptial agreement is worthwhile

Most engaged partners in Louisiana believe that their marriages will last forever. However, it is possible that a marriage will come to an end. If that happens, assets that have been in a family for generations could be lost to a spouse in a divorce settlement. The use of a prenuptial agreement can help to prevent that from happening.

Alternatively, assets could be put into a trust in an effort to safeguard them from being divided in a divorce. The trust could have language saying that the married beneficiary cannot receive a distribution from the trust unless a prenuptial agreement is in place. To convince an adult child to get a prenuptial agreement, it may be best to start discussing the topic before a wedding is on the horizon.

Charges of assault and battery

Whether you are a tourist in Louisiana or you have a regular spot where you go to relax, you know that a night on the town can be unpredictable. Alcohol can bring out the worst in some people, and you may have encountered a situation that got out of your control pretty quickly.

If you are now dealing with charges of assault and battery following a fight in or outside of a bar, you would benefit from legal assistance. While it may seem like a simple bar fight, such charges can carry serious and life-altering consequences, and the skill and knowledge of an attorney may improve your chances of a positive outcome.

How joint legal custody can work for parents and children

Louisiana divorced parents who have legal custody may make decisions about the religion in which the child is raised and the child's education and medical care. It is common for parents who do not share physical custody to have joint legal custody, and there are advantages and disadvantages to this arrangement.

Joint legal custody may actually strengthen a co-parenting relationship. It requires parents to learn how to communicate effectively, work through their disagreements and reach a resolution. It can be a healthy experience for children to see this process. However, one parent may use joint legal custody to insist that the other parent must comply. Just because parents share legal custody does not mean they will be able to agree. Another issue may arise if one former spouse is not actively involved in parenting and tends to check out.

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Craig E. Gibbs, Attorney at Law
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