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Louisiana Legal Blog

Domestic violence in Louisiana: Spousal discipline unacceptable

No couple is ever going to agree on everything all the time. There may be times when tempers flare between Louisiana couples and the desire to lash out is strong. But there is a movement afoot that condones the spanking of a female in the relationship who is deemed by her partner to be out of line. This is supported by some religions, but by the majority of people, it is considered to be a form of domestic violence.

Those with the mindset that this is acceptable behavior use the bible to back their actions. They also say the practice is nonerotic and is appropriate for a wife who disobeys her partner. But research on this practice shows that the action is sexually erotic and a form of BDSM. It is also an issue of control of the male over the female. Some women who agree with the discipline angle in their marriages see their husbands as having that right while some actually find the practice sexually arousing.

Inmate who robbed, inflicted abuse on elderly gets resentenced

An already-incarcerated 50-year-old woman serving time for aggravated robbery has had her sentence reduced from life to 30 years. The abuse the Louisiana inmate inflicted upon her elderly victims included pistol-whipping them prior to stealing their valuables. The woman has been behind bars for 22 years.

The woman was convicted of one count of burglary of an inhabited dwelling and five counts of aggravated burglary back in 1996. But at a recent resentencing hearing, a judge heard that the woman, who had had an addiction problem and had suffered abuses herself, was a changed person after spending more than 20 years in prison. She obtained her GED and took up photography and acting.

Planning for Medicaid: Meet the strict guidelines to get covered

As you age, one of the things you will need to do is to plan for Medicaid. Medicaid can be extremely helpful in paying for your long-term care needs. If you are considering Medicaid as a potential option for paying for your care, you will need to plan for the application. Is extremely complicated and eligibility requirements must be met precisely.

Medicaid has extremely strict guidelines, which means that many people are rejected based on technicalities.To make sure that you get the Medicaid you need at the time in your life when you need it most, you must be positive that you can meet the guidelines. Many people seek outside assistance when they apply for Medicaid, typically in the form of an estate-planning attorney.

Family law in Louisiana: Open marriage may mean irreparable rifts

Society has become much more liberal about marriage and what it means to individuals. In many respects how married couples in Louisiana conduct themselves within their marriages is distinctly personal. Still, there are family law rules that must be taken into consideration. But, there are certain decisions couples have made that have not been in the best interests of their marriages and that includes the decision to have open relationships.

Essentially, an open marriage means that each spouse can have physical and/or emotional relationships with other people as well as their spouses. In some cases, it seems to work. In many others, it doesn't. Sometimes, a married couple doesn't start married life in this fashion, but when a routine starts to set in and things get predictable and boring, they may agree to an open marriage scenario. It can, however, create problems to the extent that it ultimately splits a couple up.

Divorce in Louisiana and the 4 A's

When it comes to marriages ending, chances are one or more of the four A's might have been involved. When Louisiana couples find themselves thinking about divorce, it could mean that addiction, agendas, adultery or abuse had parts to play in the breakdown of the marriage -- if not all of those, then perhaps one or two. Those are pretty hardcore reasons for a marriage splitting up as opposed to reasons considered to be less intense, such as growing apart, lack of communication, different life goals or no longer having anything in common.

Adultery is probably still the most objectionable reason behind the demise of a marriage. If a partner's infidelity doesn't outright kill a marriage, it certainly can put a massive strain on the relationship. The same is true with abuse, which can be physical, emotional and even financial. These two A's can erode an affected spouse's self-esteem and self-confidence.

Family law: Nonbiolgocal same-sex parents and adoption

Gay married couples who have children may run into a snag when it comes to the legalities of parentage. A married same-sex spouse of a nonbiological child in Louisiana may need to look into second parent adoption under family law in order to have any legal say in his or her child's life. In other words, when the child biologically belongs to one of the spouses, but not the other, in order to safeguard parental rights of the nonbiological parent, formal adoption may be necessary.

Same-sex couples who are in this situation may believe the one parent is automatically afforded parental rights since he or she is married to the biological parent. But that is a murky area in most states. The only way to be absolutely sure of having those rights is to go through a second parent adoption process. 

Louisiana elder law: What's working and what changes are needed

Seniors are among the most vulnerable individuals in society. Elder law aims to protect these older Louisiana residents. There are things that have been working, but there are other areas that still need work. The abuse and neglect of older people is unacceptable and unwarranted. A United Nations International Plan of Action agrees that elder abuse is both a human rights and a public health issue.

Statistics indicate that a staggering one in 10 older adults in the United States has been a victim of elder abuse. Vulnerable seniors lose more than $2 billion every year at the hands of financial abusers. An FBI report states that nearly 50,000 people 60 years of age or older were bilked out of more that $342 million last year due to internet scams and fraud. The federal government is aiming to have elder abuse put under the law and order umbrella and has implemented new initiatives to combat these abuses through the Department of Justice.

Inheritance battles: A fight for better finances

There are many reasons why siblings might fight over inheritances, even if those reasons seem minor. The good news for parents is that there are ways you can write up a will and estate plan to prevent inheritance disputes. The bad news is that they could happen anyway.

When people pass away, it's a time of turmoil in a family. The structure of the family is changing, making it necessary for individuals to reestablish boundaries. Emotions are high, and everyone may feel they're entitled to a piece of the life of the person who passed away.

Estate planning is particularly important for women in Louisiana

Estate plans are vitally important for every adult. But it is particularly important for women in Louisiana to give the estate planning process some consideration. Many women don't pause to take stock of their financial lives. Many dismiss that part of their lives altogether, or leave it up to a spouse or a partner. Experts say that is a mistake.

A wealth management group at a major bank started women's-only seminars to help women with this part of their lives, and they were surprised that younger women -- those in their 20s -- also signed up with their older counterparts in their 60s and 70s in some cases. Women want to learn about estate planning, it seems, and believe it will help them to deal with estate issues on the death of a loved one. The seminars are all-encompassing, including an area that deals with digital assets like social media accounts, for instance. 

Elder law: Taking a senior's car keys when driving is a danger

When a senior citizen is intent on continuing to drive, but there is every indication he or she could possibly cause an accident, taking away the car keys seems like the right thing to do. Yet doing so may be challenging legally. When it comes to elder law in Louisiana, the person who holds power of attorney may be able to confiscate the senior's keys, but it's a murky area legally speaking if anyone else takes that step.

There are other ways to try to convince a senior to give up driving a vehicle. A senior may be fearing a loss of independence and likely needs reassurance that not driving doesn't mean he or she won't be able to go to different places or get out much. Often all people need to hear is that they will have the support and help of their loved ones. There may be people other than family members a senior may listen to like a family doctor, an eye doctor or a lawyer.

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