Louisiana is one of a few states that observe “community property” laws. Community property is defined as everything spouses own together, whether that be earned income, debts, or property acquired during the marriage. In community property states spouses own and owe everything equally, regardless of who earned or spent the assets.

More specifically, the types of community property include:

  • Income received by either spouse during the marriage
  • Any real or personal property acquired during the marriage (ex: house, vehicle, jewelry)
  • Any debts acquired during the marriage
  • Business interests
  • Business pensions
  • Proceeds from community property (ex: rent, interest, dividends)
  • Damages awarded for loss/injury to the community property

Alternatively, “separate property” is property the spouses owned individually, prior to their marriage. This can include pre-marriage debts (ex: student loans), property received as a gift or inheritance received during the marriage (as long as it does not commingle with community property), and property a spouse owns after their legal separation. It is important to note that separate property can transform into community property, such as when one spouse puts their family inheritance into a joint bank account or if a person adds their spouse’s name to an account or deed.

Louisiana’s status as a community property state becomes especially relevant in divorce cases. Louisiana divorce courts split community property 50-50, regardless of who earned or acquired the property. If you want to protect your assets as they pass from generation to generation, you should consider prenuptial planning. Wealth Planning Law Group can help safeguard your assets and property from divorces, lawsuits, and creditors by negotiating and drafting prenuptial planning agreements. You can contact us at (504) 608-3174 or info@lawealthplan.com to set up a consultation.