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  • Writer's pictureClaire Edwards

How does Spousal Support work?

SPOUSAL SUPPORT

Under Louisiana law, “Married persons owe each other fidelity, support, and assistance.” This is really the basis under which spousal support and community property laws are construed. For example, a wife who doesn’t work during the marriage certainly “supported” her husband’s work by doing whatever she did while he was away, therefore ½ of what he earns is hers. Also, a wife who earns significantly more money than her husband certainly should “support” him once the marriage is over, so spousal support would be awarded in the husband’s favor. The laws do not allow a spouse who cheated or lacked “fidelity” to collect final spousal support


MUTUAL DUTIES

Under La. C.C. Art. 98, "Married persons owe each other fidelity, support, and assistance."


TEMPORARY + FINAL SPOUSAL SUPPORT

When a divorce proceeding is pending, the court may award interim periodic support to a party. Additionally, the court may award final periodic support to a party who is in need of support and who is free from fault prior to the filing of a proceeding to terminate the marriage.


FINDING INCOME

Each party shall provide to the court a verified income statement showing gross income and adjusted gross income, together with documentation of current and past earnings. Be sure to bring pay stubs or employer statements, most recent federal tax return, and/or the last three personal and business state and federal income tax returns. For small business income, be sure to include all attachments and all schedules, specifically Schedule K-1 and W-2 forms, 1099 forms, and amendments, the most recent profit and loss statements, balance sheets, financial statements, quarterly sales tax reports, personal and business bank account statements, receipts, and expenses. When the income of an obligor cannot be sufficiently established, evidence of wage and earnings surveys distributed by government agencies for the purpose of attributing income to the obligor is admissible.




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