When you file for divorce in Louisiana, there are a myriad of factors to negotiate, including child custody, alimony and visitation arrangements. One of the most challenging topics may be determining who gets what in a divorce. Louisiana is a community property state, meaning each party receives half of the marital property. It is critical that you understand what marital property entails so you can receive everything the law entitles you to in the divorce settlement.
Community property includes all property, assets and possessions you and your spouse have accumulated during the marriage. It can also include separate property that you combined with community property during the marriage. For example, if you received an inheritance during your marriage, that money is separate property and can stay with you after the finalization of the divorce. Yet, if you deposit your inheritance money in a joint bank account shared with your spouse, that money becomes community property and is now eligible for division in the settlement.
Many people think of the family car, home, furniture and contents of the savings account when they think of marital property. Yet, there are other assets that are community property and that you should remember when it comes time to finalize the divorce settlement. These include the following:
- Lottery ticket winnings
- Income tax refunds
- Expensive collections, such as coins, cars, books, art and antiques
- Travel miles and other reward points
- Intellectual property, such as patents, trademarks and copyrights
- Stocks, 401(k) plans, retirement accounts and term life insurance policies
Gifts that you exchanged with your spouse are also community property, so you must divide them.
If you or your spouse let a third party borrow money or property during the course of the marriage, you and your spouse must split the payments the borrower makes. This holds true even if the borrower makes the payments after the judge has finalized your divorce.