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Alimony in Louisiana

Alimony in Louisiana


By Louisiana law, a court may order alimony as part of a divorce settlement if that provision is not included in any arrangement made by the divorcing spouses.  In addition, in cases where one spouse is substantially dependent on the other spouse, temporary alimony may be ordered awaiting the divorce proceedings.


What are the types of alimony in Louisiana?


Louisiana law provides for two types of alimony:


Alimony Pendente Lite – this is the term for alimony pending litigation and this goes to provide the spouse with enough to maintain of standard of living enjoyed in the marriage while waiting for the divorce proceedings on be completed.  This ends when the divorce proceedings are completed and generally continues into a permanent support agreement, but may also be cancelled entirely.


Post-Divorce Spousal Support – this is the conventional form of alimony that consists of regular payments from the spouse, usually but not always, the spouse found “at fault” to keep the beneficiary spouse in the same standard of living enjoyed during the marriage.  The other spouse receiving the support, on the other hand, must be completely free from fault in the divorce, according to alimony in Louisiana law.


How is alimony calculated in Louisiana?


The court will consider the income of the spouse paying support, including assets and investments.  Income is not the only factor and those spouses that are underemployed or willfully unemployed will be allocated a share of support greater than their income if it is determine they have significant means of support beyond their regular income.  This is called “potential income” and is examined prior to a court order being announced.


Changing alimony in Louisiana


A material change in the circumstances of the spouse receiving or paying the support can warrant a revision of the alimony agreement.  This includes the potential income of the receiver increasing due to better education or opportunity or the loss of a job on the part of the payer.  Either part can request a revision of the agreement if a change in the other spouse’s circumstances changes substantially.  Unlike child support arrangements, these arrangements are not subject to auto-review.


If the spousal support is incorporated into child support or the spouse has substantial difficulty supporting them, then it will be harder to force an end to spousal support.  Otherwise, spousal support when the spouse in question remarries, dies or cohabitates with another individual, drawing support from that individual as one would from a spouse.


Can I pay alimony in Louisiana as a lump sum?


You may arrange with the other spouse and legal representative after a divorce to pay alimony in a lump sum, either in full or according to a payment plan.  The other spouse is under no obligation to accept this arrangement.