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New Orleans Divorce Law Blog

Pauly D seeking custody of his baby girl

If you've had a child and are separated or divorced from the other parent, you may find yourself struggling with a child custody case. In any case involving your children, it's important to do what's best for your child. News from Oct. 24 about Pauly D's challenging child custody case may have been something you've come across; he's trying to seek custody of his daughter.

New Orleans readers who watched Jersey Shore should remember Pauly D from the crew, and this reality star has now found out that he has a little girl. The DJ discovered that the baby was born to a woman he was no longer seeing, and he has yet to see the child, according to the report. It has been reported that Pauly D had once told the woman to seek an abortion before the child's birth, and the mother is allegedly trying to sell those messages to media outlets. With so many things going on behind the scenes, it's no wonder the two are arguing over the custody of the child.

Assets shouldn't be forgotten about during divorce

Property division is part of most divorces, and if you don't have a prenuptial agreement, anything of yours or your soon-to-be ex-husband or ex-wife's belongings could be split between you both. If you're planning on divorcing your partner or are just considering a prenuptial agreement and how to divide your property, these things are items you shouldn't forget about, according to a recent report from Oct. 16.

According to the report, divorce is usually based on the division of marital property and debts. Things like real estate, bank accounts, boats, cars, and other items may need to be evaluated for pricing, and they can become a point of argument easily. Other things you should consider looking into are investments like employee compensation plans, life insurance policies, pensions, stock options, or retirement plans. These items have to be inventoried for settlement agreements and division in most divorces.

Former military spouses still qualify for some benefits

If you're going through a military divorce, you may wonder how you'll be affected if you're not the spouse who participates in the military. Because the military has many special benefits for military families, you might even think that you'd lose the right to those benefits through divorce. That isn't always the case, though, and Louisiana military families might be interested in this information about continued DEERS enrollment for those who are divorced or thinking of divorcing.

According to news from Oct. 17, DEERS enrollment includes the benefits of health care, legal assistance benefits, and commissary and exchange privileges. Of course, things like health care could be a serious concern for you if you're thinking of a divorce and are only receiving the benefit through your spouse's military service. Fortunately, DEERS enrollment and usage is allowed to take place for those who are former spouses of current or former military or service members.

Mia Farrow claims that her son is actually Frank Sinatra's

If your paternity rights are in question, you might be worried about how it will affect your time with your child. Likewise, though, paternity matters that aren't settled can lead to people asking for money, time and ruining your reputation. In any case, it's important to know exactly whose child is whose, and with a paternity test, you can have that chance. Louisiana natives who watch celebrity news might have heard the claim that Mia Farrow made recently. According to her, Frank Sinatra may be the real father to her son, Ronan.

It's not really a surprise that Barbara Sinatra quickly replied to the claim. She stated that she believes the claim is a, "bunch of junk," but Farrow claims the opposite. She said that she and Sinatra had never really split up after their marriage ended in 1968 and when she was directly questioned about whether Ronan could be Sinatra's son, she simply replied that it was possible.

Cherokee girl allowed to stay with adoptive parents

In cases of divorce, it's common to want to have joint custody with your spouse. It's often preferable for parents to decide on custody and visitation on their own, but when they can't, the courts can step in an appoint times for each parent to be with a child. If you're going through a divorce in New Orleans and are having difficulties deciding on visitation and custody rights, make sure you're clear on your rights as a parent.

One recent case that has been in the news that may interest you has been one discussing the rights of a biological father whose child was in the middle of a bitter custody dispute with her new adoptive parents. According to the report, the girl's mother put up her baby girl immediately after her birth. However, the father is a member of the Cherokee Nation, and he and his family allegedly claimed that the Indian Child Welfare Act mandated that the child would grow up with the Cherokee Nation. At the age of two, the little girl was placed into custody with her father.

Emotions may boil over into divorce proceedings

New Orleans is no exception to the increase in divorce seen among baby boomers. According to reports, about 25 percent of marital dissolutions involve individuals over the age of 50. With this in mind, it can be easy to see the complications that might arise. A large portion of them may arrive with the property division procedures, considering the amount of wealth many people in middle age have collected with spouses that they have spent more than a decade with. Consider this relationship and the things that happened during their divorce:

He was 23 and she was 31; he was an extrovert and she was an introvert. They were married for 18 years and had been living on his parent's land. The husband had built their house there. When they met a professor on a European cruise, they had both met a friend. But she began corresponding with him via email and found him attractive. Eventually, after counseling and a separation, the man would ask for a divorce from his wife. She and the professor moved in together some time later, and he found another woman to marry and spend his life with. During the divorce, there were several issues that if absent would have allowed the split to play out differently.

Study shows deployment affects military divorce rate

A thorough examination of divorce in the military has revealed a number of interesting observations that are relevant to military couples from New Orleans. Researchers with the Rand Corporation examined information from more than 462,000 enlisted service members who married during their service. All of these individuals were part of the military between March 1999 and June 2008. Perhaps one of the more obvious points of the report was that deployments have an effect on divorce rates in the military.

Though this may come as no surprise, previous studies have indicated that deployments did not have a major effect on military divorce rates, some even suggesting that deployments helped decrease the risk of divorce for military couples. The recent study debunks these previous claims, and it may be due to the wide frame of time that is covered, as well as the data pool that researchers used to come to their conclusions.

Considering divorce? Try taking a breather first

If the supposed divorce rate is to be believed, about half of married couples in New Orleans will go through a divorce this year. Whether or not it is accurate, this rate should make some spouses realize that they may not be happy in their marriages, that they want something more or want something different. And while arguments may be riddling your current relationship, you owe it to your spouse, yourself and your children to take a timeout and think about the situation before jumping right into divorce. This could do one of two things: you could realize that you want to continue the marriage and work harder on it, or it could allow you to begin preparations for a divorce.

During a timeout, spouses should look at the future and reevaluate their current feelings towards it. If your spouse is in it, then perhaps you'll stay married. But if she or he isn't in the picture, then maybe it's time to pull the plug. Other options during a timeout include visiting a therapist, realizing that blaming your spouse will not help the matter and giving co-parenting a shot. This last option is a very viable one no matter what the outcome of the timeout because co-parenting is extremely important to the kids. When a couple divorces and co-parenting is not part of the plan, the children may struggle because both parents are not in their lives.

Work with each other instead of against each other during split

The traditional image of divorce that many people hold in New Orleans goes something like this: A couple gets married, their relationship breaks down, someone decides to call it quits for one reason or another, and then everything goes to pieces. Emotional breakdowns are common, heated arguments happen regularly, and the courtroom becomes a war zone between generals who used to fight for the same side. This is not how divorce has to be, no matter what sort of property is at stake and no matter how hard you fight for primary custody of your kids.

Ex-spouses often use the property division process to take out their anger on one another. Remember that rug you have always loved? The traditional expectations of divorce may cause you to believe that your soon-to-be ex will make sure you don't get this asset. Instead of trying to hurt one another during this process, remember that Louisiana is a community property state. This means that you can get this process done and over with much sooner if you realize that you and your ex will both be starting anew, walking into the unknown minus a partner you shared a portion of your life with.

Wealthier spouse may try to hide value of assets

So you've made the decision to divorce and the fear of the unknown is starting to settle in. Don't worry - you're not alone. Many people from New Orleans have found themselves at the beginning, middle and end of their divorces, still uncertain about what is yet to come. Some of these unknowns may involve your social life and who will remain once the dust from the divorce settles. Others include the personal changes you will go through. Spouses involved in a marital split often wonder how they will change in the subsequent years. Perhaps the scariest source of uncertainty, though, is the financial changes that divorce usually brings, especially when the dissolution is a complex asset divorce.

These divorces often involve spouses with some value of wealth, meaning that each may have a lot to lose. In some cases, however, the wealth is one-sided, and one spouse stands to lose quite a bit to the other if the divorce is finalized. In these cases, the wealthier spouse may own a business or a large number of properties in various geographical locations. In order to get an even split during the property division process, the property values for each spouse must be determined. Businesses and properties, along with many other assets, can be abused during this phase of the divorce. If the wealthy spouse can hide the wealth or blur the value somehow, she or he may lose less in the divorce settlement. This is when relevant professional expertise can be invaluable.

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