Louisiana Attorney Handles Full Range of Family Law Matters
Dedicated Monroe lawyer helps resolve divorce, support and custody issues
When you are facing family law issues such as the dissolution of a marriage, especially if children are involved, you need a legal advocate who is professional, persistent and dedicated to protecting your rights. I am Gregory G. Elias and for nearly a quarter century I have been guiding families in the Monroe area through this painful process. I represent clients in a range of family law matters including divorce, alimony, property division, adoption, child support and child custody and visitation.
Comprehensive counsel in marital dissolution cases
Louisiana law allows for divorce based on fault or no fault. A petition for a no-fault divorce can be brought once a married couple has been separated for six months. After filing, they must live apart for an additional six months before the divorce is granted. A divorce may also be granted on grounds of fault, such as adultery, cruelty or desertion. In some cases, a fault divorce may serve to gain an advantage in a contested child custody case or in a dispute about alimony or division of marital property.
Louisiana is a community property state, which means that all income earned by either spouse during the marriage and all property bought with those earnings are considered to be owned equally by both spouses. This includes bank accounts, real estate, stocks and other assets. Upon divorce, courts will attempt to divide property evenly between the spouses. Debts incurred during the marriage are also apportioned equally.
In addition to property division, Louisiana courts may award alimony payments to a financially dependent spouse upon divorce, after factoring each spouse's earning capacity and the time needed for the recipient spouse to acquire education or job training.
In all aspects of divorce, I will advocate effectively for your rights as I work to achieve a satisfactory property division and a just alimony award.
Compassionate advocate works for best interests of parent and child
Child support, custody and visitation are fertile grounds for dispute in cases of marriage dissolution or separation. Yet, parents usually can agree that they don’t want their children to suffer emotionally or financially as a result of the break-up. I work to find the most just and amicable solutions to all issues involving children of the marriage.
Louisiana has adopted the Uniform Child Custody Act and allows for divorcing parents to share custody of children. Courts favor joint custody arrangements on the principle that children benefit from having continued frequent contact with both parents after a divorce. In contested custody situations, courts will act in what is believed to be the children’s best interests. A child’s own wishes may be considered once he or she has reached age 11. In a fault divorce, the parent who accuses the other of fault may gain an advantage in a child custody ruling. I am skilled at forging comprehensive custody/visitation plans and in making the best case for the custody rights of the parents I represent.
To calculate child support obligations, Louisiana uses an income-shares model, based on how much support a child would receive if the parents were living in the same household. This amount is then divided proportionally between each parent. Sometimes the courts will impute income to a parent who has the capacity to earn more than he or she is actually earning. The noncustodial parent is usually required to make support payments to the custodial parent. I am experienced in advocating for the rights of both custodial and noncustodial parents in child support determinations.
Focusing on building families in adoption cases
Adopting a child brings happiness to families, but setbacks such as a biological parent’s change of heart can turn an adoption into a stressful ordeal. I have substantial experience handling the complex legal procedures for adoptions throughout Louisiana. I try to ensure that both the birth and adoptive parents’ rights are respected so that the end result is a final adoption that cannot be challenged. If you're looking to add a child to your family, I'm ready to guide you through the process with a minimum of anxiety.
Contact a dedicated Louisiana family law attorney for a free initial consultation.
When you are going through the upheaval of a divorce or a dispute over child support or custody, you need a seasoned, understanding legal adviser. At the Gregory G. Elias law offices in Monroe, I offer clients reasonable rates and flexible scheduling. Please call me at 318-381-8126 or contact me online to schedule a free consultation.