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Understanding Louisiana’s community property laws

When you marry and then split from someone in Louisiana, or when you marry someone elsewhere and move to Louisiana, you must follow state guidelines when it comes to property division. Louisiana is a community property state. It is important that you understand what this means and how it affects you as you navigate your divorce.

Per the Louisiana Attorney General, “property,” in the phrase “community property,” refers to houses, land, bank accounts, stocks, pension plans, wages, income and other assets and valuables.

What constitutes community property

Assets typically constitute community property if you, your ex or both of you acquired them during the marriage. Property donated to both of you also constitutes community property. So, too, damages or losses related to things that belong to both of you. Other assets may also fall under the community property umbrella if they do not undergo classification as separate property.

What constitutes separate property

Separate property belongs solely to one party in the marriage or the other. This typically includes property secured by one party before the marriage and property acquired by one party via a donation or inheritance. It may, too, include damages awarded to one spouse in certain circumstances. It may also cover things one of you acquires as a result of a voluntary partition of community property during the community property regime.

The rules governing the division of community property are complex. However, when you divorce your Louisiana spouse, your assets are subject to community property laws unless you have a prenuptial agreement in place dictating otherwise.