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What if my spouse and I cannot agree on a divorce settlement?

On Behalf of | Nov 21, 2023 | Divorce

Some couples have a very easy time preparing for divorce. They signed a prenuptial agreement during their engagement that provides very clear rules for property division. However, the vast majority of married couples in Louisiana do not have a prenuptial agreement on record. If they decide to divorce, they will have to decide at that time what will happen with their resources and any children they share.

They will either need to settle matters with one another to file an uncontested divorce or prepare for a contested divorce filing. What happens in a situation where spouses cannot settle matters on their own?

They may attend mediation

Divorce mediation has become very popular in recent years. It is a form of alternative dispute resolution that can lead to a settlement despite spouses initially disagreeing on certain details. Working with a professional mediator can sometimes help people overcome disagreements about custody and property division matters as they prepare for divorce in Louisiana.

They may litigate their divorce

If couples do not want to attend mediation or attempts to mediate are not successful, they may need to proceed with a litigated divorce. A Louisiana family law judge will make decisions that settle the disagreements between the spouses. A judge will look over inventories of assets provided by the spouses and learn about other aspects of the marriage. They will then apply the Louisiana community property statute to divide the marital estate between the two spouses.

If there are minor children in the family, a judge can learn about the family situation and decide what they believe would be in the children’s best interests. Usually, that will include liberal amounts of parenting time for both adults and shared decision-making authority.

Although many couples would prefer to reach a settlement that gives them the final say in the terms of their divorce, there are still solutions available for those who cannot agree with their spouse on key matters. Seeking legal guidance to learning more about Louisiana family law statutes may help those who are concerned about the potential of a contested divorce process.