Divorce after 50 can be an eye-opener for many. Your kids are gone and no longer the biggest concern. Instead, you are concerned about retirement. You want to hang on to some financial security because you know it will cost more to live apart than to live together. How are you going to divide the “stuff.”

You may be in for a surprise.

Louisiana is a community property state. As a general rule, everything you accumulated (assets and debt) is owned one-half by your spouse. How property is titled does not determine whether it is a community asset or not. Likewise, who earned money or who stayed home and cared for the children does not matter.

Let’s consider John and Sarah.

Married for 25 years, John works at the plant, and Sarah stays home with the kids. John accumulated a large 401K. Some of the 401K came from several years before they married. One-half of the portion accumulated during the marriage belongs to Sarah.

John’s credit was lousy, so when the couple needed a new car, Sarah borrowed the money. As a result, she put the title in her name. John owns one-half of the vehicle and owes one-half of the debt.

John lost his dad a few years ago, and he inherited his dad’s old truck. Sarah does not own any of it.

It’s not always this straightforward.

What about the debt or property you brought into the marriage? Did you pay off your spouse’s student loans from before the wedding? How about that remodel project on the rent house that your spouse inherited? Are you living in a house the two of you built on your spouse’s family land? Did you start a business with a friend? Your spouse inherited mineral rights that paid him monthly, and he put that in the savings account. Who owns that? Were you or your spouse married before? All of these issues can complicate the division.

Need help?

Dividing your community property in Louisiana can be very complicated. Therefore, before you make decisions regarding how to split up the”stuff,” call us. We can help untangle the knot. 318-255-1760.