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Fontenot & Shumaker are your trusted Lake Charles Family Law Lawyers. 

Practice Area

Family Law

As a leading Family Law Attorney in Lake Charles, Fontenot and Shumaker is dedicated to guiding you through the complexities of family legal matters with a blend of professional expertise and compassionate care. Understanding that each family’s situation is unique, we provide tailored legal solutions to meet your specific needs, ensuring that you navigate these challenging times with confidence and support.

What Does a Lake Charles Family Lawyer Do?


A Family Law Attorney in Lake Charles plays a vital role in handling a variety of legal issues that impact families. At Fontenot and Shumaker, our expertise extends to various aspects of family law, including but not limited to divorce, child custody, spousal support, and premarital agreements. We understand that each case carries its unique set of emotional and legal complexities. Our approach is to offer personalized legal counsel and representation, aiming to secure the best possible outcome for you and your loved ones. Whether it’s navigating the intricacies of custody arrangements or providing guidance through the divorce process, our goal is to support you at every step, ensuring your rights and interests are protected.


When Should I Hire a Family Law Attorney in Lake Charles?


Deciding when to hire a Family Law Attorney in Lake Charles is crucial in ensuring your legal rights and interests are adequately protected. It’s advisable to seek the expertise of a family lawyer in several situations, including:


  • Contemplating or Initiating Divorce: Understanding your legal rights and the implications of divorce is essential. A family law attorney can provide valuable guidance on division of assets, spousal support, and child custody arrangements.
  • Facing Child Custody Issues: Whether you’re negotiating custody arrangements or modifications, legal representation is key in protecting your parental rights and the best interests of your children.
  • Dealing with Domestic Violence: In situations involving domestic violence, it’s crucial to have legal support to ensure your safety and navigate the legal ramifications effectively.
  • Drafting or Reviewing Premarital Agreements: To ensure that such agreements are legally sound and reflect your interests, consulting a family law attorney is highly recommended.
  • Navigating Complex Financial Matters: In cases involving significant assets or complex financial situations, a family law attorney can help ensure a fair and equitable division of assets.

By engaging a Family Law Attorney in Lake Charles early in your legal matter, you can gain a clearer understanding of your situation, explore your options, and make informed decisions that align with your best interests.

Lake Charles Family Law Services

At Fontenot and Shumaker, we offer a comprehensive range of family law services to meet the diverse needs of our clients in Lake Charles. Our team is equipped to handle various aspects of family law with the utmost professionalism and care:


  • Divorce: We provide guidance and representation through the entire divorce process, addressing issues like asset division, alimony, and child custody. Our approach is to make the process as smooth and amicable as possible, while fiercely advocating for your rights.
  • Domestic Violence: For cases involving domestic violence, we offer the necessary legal support to ensure your safety and well-being. Our services include obtaining protective orders and addressing the impact of domestic violence on divorce and custody matters.
  • Premarital Agreements: We assist couples in drafting premarital agreements that protect their individual interests, assets, and future financial stability, ensuring that these agreements comply with Louisiana laws.
  • Grandparents’ Rights: Recognizing the important role grandparents play in many families, we help in navigating the legal rights of grandparents in cases of custody and visitation, especially in complex family dynamics.
  • Child Custody: Our attorneys are adept at handling sensitive child custody matters, focusing on the best interests of the child while ensuring that your parental rights are respected. This includes custody negotiations, modifications, and enforcement.
  • Relocation: We provide legal assistance for cases involving parental relocation, ensuring that such moves comply with custody agreements and considering the best interests of the child.
  • Division of Assets: In divorce proceedings, we ensure a fair and equitable division of marital assets and debts, taking into account all financial aspects and contributions of both parties.
  • Spousal Support: We guide you through the nuances of spousal support, whether you seek to receive it or are required to provide it, focusing on a fair assessment of your financial needs and capabilities.
  • Adoptions: Our firm also handles adoption cases, providing legal assistance for both stepparent adoptions and adoptions through agencies, ensuring a smooth and legally compliant process.

How to Choose the Right Family Law Lawyer Near Me 


Selecting the right family law attorney is a decision that deeply affects the outcome of your legal matters. Here’s what I recommend considering, based on my experience at Fontenot and Shumaker:


Experience and Specialization: I always emphasize the importance of choosing an attorney with a strong background in family law. Their experience in handling cases similar to yours can be invaluable.


Reputation and Reviews: I advise looking into the attorney’s or firm’s reputation. Reading online reviews and testimonials can give you a good sense of their track record and client satisfaction.


Effective Communication: It’s crucial for your attorney to communicate clearly and ensure you understand every step of your legal journey. This is something I prioritize in my practice.


Availability and Responsiveness: You want an attorney who responds promptly and is accessible when you need them. This is a key aspect of the service I aim to provide.


Transparent Legal Fees: Understanding the fee structure is vital. I believe in being upfront about fees to avoid any surprises.


Local Expertise: Familiarity with the local legal system is advantageous. I leverage my knowledge of the area’s legal procedures and personnel to benefit my clients’ cases.


Personalized Legal Strategy: Every case is unique, so the strategy should be tailored to your specific legal needs and goals. This is how I approach each case.


Trust and Comfort: Ultimately, choose an attorney with whom you feel comfortable and can trust to have your best interests at heart. This is the foundation of my practice.


If you’re on the hunt for a family law lawyer in Lake Charles, we’d love to help you at Fontenot & Shumaker


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2706 Hodges Street Lake Charles, Louisiana 70601

Lake Charles Family Law FAQ's

In Louisiana, child support is calculated using a formula that considers the income of both parents and the number of children requiring support. Factors such as the child’s health insurance, extraordinary medical expenses, and childcare costs related to a parent’s employment or education are also considered. The state provides guidelines and a calculator to estimate the amount of support, but the court has the final say, considering the best interests of the child.

Yes, custody arrangements can be modified in Louisiana. To change an existing custody order, one must demonstrate a significant change in circumstances that affects the child’s best interests. This could include changes in a parent’s job, relocation, changes in the child’s needs, or concerns about the child’s current environment. The court will review the request and determine if a modification is warranted based on the new circumstances.

Louisiana recognizes both fault and no-fault grounds for divorce. No-fault divorce can be obtained if the spouses have lived separately for a specific period: 180 days if there are no minor children from the marriage, or 365 days if there are. Fault grounds include adultery, felony conviction, abandonment for a year or more, physical or sexual abuse, and living separately for a certain period after a protective order against one spouse. The choice of grounds can affect various aspects of the divorce proceedings, including child custody and spousal support.

In Louisiana, grandparents can seek visitation rights, particularly if they have a strong existing relationship with the grandchild and if visitation is in the child’s best interest. The court will consider factors such as the grandchild’s preference, the emotional ties between the grandchild and the grandparent, and the grandparent’s ability to provide a positive and stable environment. Grandparents may also seek custody in certain situations, such as when the parents are unable or unfit to care for the child, though these cases tend to be more complex legally.

In Louisiana, child custody decisions are made based on the best interests of the child. To get custody, you must demonstrate that living with you serves the child’s physical, emotional, and educational needs better than the alternative. This includes providing a stable home environment, showing involvement in the child’s life, and ensuring their overall well-being. The court considers factors like the child’s age, the parental bond, and each parent’s ability to care for the child.

An unstable parent in the context of Louisiana family law is someone who fails to provide a consistent and secure environment for their child. This can include frequent changes in living situations, erratic behavior, substance abuse, mental health issues, or a pattern of neglect or abuse.