Carleton Hebert Wittenbrink & Shoenfelt, LLC

Baton Rouge Family And Business Law Blog

Different structures may serve different business needs

The decision to start a business is a big one and can have drastic legal and financial implications on the rest of a person's life. That is because if a business is not set up correctly, any liability that the business incurs can directly impact the financial health of the individual who was responsible for the start-up. For this reason, it can benefit Louisiana residents to get the help of business law attorneys when they are preparing to select the appropriate business structures for their new entities.

Businesses can take on different formats, from sole proprietorships to corporations. For example, a sole proprietorship is a business that is closely tied to the personal liability of the person who opened the entity for business. A corporation is a business that is fully its own legal entity and leaves little to no connection to its original founders.

Child custody is an important family law topic

A divorce will have a big impact on any children from the relationship. Children may worry about how their lives will be affected as their parents untie the binds that hold their family together, and they may have concerns over whether divorce will mean that they need to move into a new home. Children may be afraid of the changes that they will need to live with in the "new normal" of their lives, and parents in Louisiana should be aware of what rights they have when it comes to helping their kids make transitions into their new post-divorce lives.

One right that parents have when they divorce is the right to make choices about how their kids are raised. This is known as "legal custody," and a parent who has legal custody may not have that right taken away even if the parent cannot retain "physical custody." Parents can be denied legal custody of their kids if it would be in the kids' best interests to do so.

Uncontested and contested divorces: what is best for you?

From child custody to property distribution and financials, divorce is a complex process that has a stereotype. Many people believe divorce is always a hard-fought struggle between two dueling spouses. However, this is not always the case.

While many divorces are contested, uncontested divorce is also a method and does not involve courts or intense disagreements.

What is "fraudulent misrepresentation"?

Most people generally understand the term "fraud" to mean something purporting to be what it is not. A person may be considered a fraud if they claim that they have skills they do not actually possess, or a product may be a fraud if it is styled to deceive consumers into believing that it is a more valuable item that it actually is. Fraud exists in the world of business contracts, too, and readers of this Louisiana legal blog may have run into the challenging problem of fraudulent misrepresentation in their commercial agreements.

Fraudulent misrepresentation involves untruths or outright lies put forth during the negotiations of a contract. When false statements are made with the purpose of inducing another party to enter into a contract, the foundation of fraudulent misrepresentation is laid. If the innocent party then suffers a loss due to the trust they placed in the party that perpetrated the fraud on them, they may have damages to claim in a lawsuit based on the contract.

Understanding step-parent adoption

When a person decides that they want to adopt a child, they have made the choice to be responsible for that child and to include them in their family. In some cases, families in Louisiana may look to adopt children from foster care or from private domestic agencies. In other cases, they may seek to grow their families through adoptions from foreign countries. However, one of the most common forms of adoption that occurs is that of step-parent adoption.

A step-parent adoption happens when a child's step-parent undergoes the legal process of making the child their own. When a child is born, a mother may not know the identity of her child's father and therefore may not list a second parent on the birth certificate. Or, a child's parent may pass away and leave them with only one parent to look out for their interests.

What should be included in an employment contract?

A business in Louisiana may only be as good as the people who work for it. Businesses have an interest in hiring the right people and retaining them so that they may help the companies grow and prosper. Getting a good interviewee to agree to a position with a business can begin with preparing a solid employment contract. There are employment contract terms that are specific to particular industries, but an overview of terms that should usually be included in most employment contracts and that business law attorneys can help their clients incorporate into their hiring documents can help companies in Louisiana.

First, employment contracts should clearly outline the compensation that the employee will receive if hired into the company. If the employee may receive certain work-related benefits, such as access to health insurance or retirement investing, those terms should also be included therein.

Why an uncontested divorce settles quickly with collaboration

The importance of cooperation during divorce proceedings escalates when dealing with assets and child custody. Although many couples face disagreement throughout divorce settlements, collaboration may lead to a quicker end to the emotional process.

Usually, the longer the divorce and the more disagreement involved in settlement brings more excessive fees. Heading to court to argue property disputes and fight for custody arrangements may even create significant animosity throughout the proceedings. If you and your spouse can agree, with the help of your attorneys, on elements involving your property and children, you may avoid spending thousands on coming to a fair conclusion. Uncontested divorces may allow you and your ex-spouse to discuss your plans freely and offer monetary benefits, and the rapid settlement process may leave you and your family content with the outcome without heading to court.

The role of fault in a divorce in Louisiana

The decision to end a marriage can be very personal to a Baton Rouge resident. It may involve the gradual decline of affection and love between two partners, or it may involve a serious and abrupt breach of one's trust or confidence in the other. Depending upon the circumstances of a couple's marital situation, the partners may elect to use different bases for pursuing their divorce.

Louisiana residents may base their divorces on several fault grounds. These include adultery and criminal activity. If a person has undertaken an extramarital relationship their spouse may use adultery as the grounds on which to base the divorce proceedings. Additionally, a person's conviction of a felony charge may be used by their spouse as the means of terminating the marital relationship.

The legal needs of Louisiana small businesses

Starting a business is a dream that many Baton Rouge residents have. After all, who wouldn't want to be their own boss, work in an environment of their own making and pursue a long-held passion all for an income? A successful small business can become not only a way to make a living, but also a legacy that a person may pass down to their children.

However, starting and maintaining a small business takes more than just opening the doors and offering a product or service for pay. There is an immense amount of legal work that goes into running a business and not all new business owners are prepared to manage the important legal and regulatory aspects of managing their own entity. Using a lawyer for small business needs can be an incredible help to a person who does not want to see their new enterprise fail.

Is grandparent visitation allowed in Louisiana?

Under certain circumstances, grandparents in Louisiana can seek visitation time with their grandchildren. Their options are somewhat limited, however, as parents generally retain a considerable amount of power over who spends time with their kids and may be able to persuade courts to refuse grandparents such time. It is important to understand the law surrounding grandparent visitation in Louisiana.

In situations in which parents die, become incarcerated or otherwise are unavailable to be with their children, their parents can seek visitation time with the grandchildren. This is because grandparents may be cut off from the grandchildren that that they love when their children are removed from the familial structure of their marriages. Grandparent visitation requests are subject to judicial review and if a court finds that granting a grandparent time with their grandchild will not serve the child's best interests, then the request may be denied.

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Baton Rouge
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10.0Jeffrey S. Wittenbrink