Focused On
Family Law

Helping Clients Navigate Divorce With Skill, Care And Compassion

Divorce is a major life transition that comes with numerous challenges. At the Godley Law Firm, I understand. I am William Godley, the firm’s founder. I am not only a divorce lawyer with nearly 25 years of experience but also a child of divorce myself and someone who has gone through the process of marital dissolution. I empathize with the challenges that you are facing. It takes courage to navigate a life-changing process that combines legal complexities with emotional issues. But you don’t have to go through it alone.

Guidance On All Aspects Of Louisiana Divorce Cases

I established my Lake Charles divorce practice to help people find creative and effective resolutions to divorce and related issues. I am compassionate while dealing with my clients but aggressive in court or negotiations when opposing sides refuse to play fair.

I can help you with any aspect of the divorce process including:

  • Child custody – The best interests of the children come first in every custody-related decision. Disputes arise when one party is not focused on the welfare of his or her kids, acting selfishly and vengeful against his or her spouse. While contested child custody matters are not ideal, I will aggressively pursue the best option in court on behalf of my clients and their children.
  • Child support – State statutes dictate strict calculations involving gross income, expenses and the number of children. However, the accuracy of the data is sometimes questioned when a spouse is hiding assets or money or is voluntarily underemployed or unemployed.
  • Spousal support – Spousal support, also known as alimony, falls under two categories: interim and permanent. Essentially, one spouse has the need and the other has the means. While no statutes govern this complex area of divorce law, income and expenses are factors in determining both durations and amounts.
  • Property division – Dividing marital assets is not as easy as dividing by two. Negotiations can drag out, and investigations in valuing property can be in-depth and sometimes disputed.

As a Lake Charles divorce and family law attorney, my job is to negotiate with the parties to find a resolution or litigate when that provides the best option.

Answering Your Questions About Divorce In Louisiana

When you have questions, I can provide you with the answers you’re looking for. I’ll listen to your problem and provide you with all the information you deserve. Below are the answers to some of the questions I get most frequently.

How long does a divorce take?

The length of your divorce depends a great deal on your circumstances. If you have grounds for a divorce, it can accelerate the process. Grounds for divorce can include:

  • Infidelity
  • Abuse
  • Criminal activity
  • One spouse seeking a protective order

However, most choose to file for a “no-fault” divorce.

No-fault divorce significantly simplifies the process, which historically could be very difficult. However, if you choose a no-fault divorce, you will have a waiting period, which could be half a year if there are no children or a full year if you have children.

However, there is a caveat. Depending on a working divorce agreement, those waiting times are half a year or a full year. Without that agreement, without knowing about custody, property division or spousal support, you’re headed for a contested divorce.

What is a contested divorce?

A contested divorce is one where the central matters of the divorce are not settled before the submission of the divorce paperwork. In these cases, you and your soon-to-be ex will go to court to argue your side in these matters. These disputes are difficult and often painful, but they can make your divorce much longer than the initial wait time. In some cases, a divorce case can stretch out for years.

Will there be alimony or spousal support?

Alimony, or spousal support, is a hot-button issue in divorce and is often a primary part of a contested divorce. Setting appropriate spousal support is a vital issue. The court considers the following matters before issuing spousal support:

  • Length of the marriage
  • Relative resources of both spouses
  • Each spouse’s health
  • The circumstances of the divorce

After carefully considering these matters, the judge may – or may not – order alimony. Here an attorney can make a big difference by advocating for the most appropriate outcome.

Discuss Your Divorce Questions And Concerns With An Experienced Attorney

I invite you to contact me online or call 800-560-3525 to speak with me about your divorce concerns. I can provide the guidance you need to start moving past this major hurdle and start building your post-divorce future.