Lake Charles family law attorneys


The Johnson Firm’s team of Supreme Court & Louisiana Bar Association licensed attorneys wrote and legally reviewed this page.

The Johnson Firm Lake Charles family law attorneys represent parents and spouses facing all kinds of family law matters including divorce, child custody, child and spousal support, community property division, and adoption.

As our skilled attorneys help resolve these issues, you’ll earn the tools you need to create a better future for you and your family. No matter the issue, you can rely on our experience to get you through this complicated time.

lake charles family law attorneys

Family law is more than divorce

A family case is a form of civil case that’s heard in Louisiana family court. Civil cases involve disputes or issues between two people, whereas criminal court involves a state or federal government prosecuting someone for a crime.

Family court has limited jurisdiction. In some instances, criminal and family law can overlap, such as in cases involving domestic abuse. If you’re the victim of domestic violence, you may have an ongoing case in a family court while the other party may face a separate case through criminal court.

Types of family law cases

The experienced Lake Charles family law attorneys at The Johnson Firm have served Southwest Louisiana since 1980 with compassion and a commitment to achieving the best possible outcome.

Whether you want to change the terms of a support or custody order, are seeking a divorce, adopting a child, or are needing to divide your community property, our attorneys are here to help.


Our divorce lawyers in Lake Charles can assist you through every stage of the divorce process by helping gather evidence to support your requests; assisting with setting terms for support, custody, and property division; negotiating a settlement; representing you in court; and providing sound and objective advice.


Child custody

One of the most common areas in which our Lake Charles family law attorneys can help is in matters of child custody. Custody can be a very contentious and emotional issue regardless of whether it’s part of a divorce, long after the divorce, or if the parties were never married.

When the parents can’t decide on custody issues, the court will intervene and consider issues related to the best interest of the children – such as each parent’s relationship with the children, the mental and physical health of the parents, traditional roles of each parent, work schedules, and many other factors.

Our child custody lawyers will work with you to optimize a custody arrangement that aims to benefit everyone involved, first and foremost your children.

Child support

Any time there are issues involving child custody, one of the biggest issues that needs to be resolved is child support.

In Louisiana, child support calculations are based on a formula that relies on several factors – the income of each parent, the amount of time the child is with each parent, child care expenses, health insurance premiums paid on behalf of the child, and any extraordinary expenses of the child.

An experienced family law attorney in Lake Charles can help you understand what to expect as a custodial or non-custodial parent and seek a fair and reasonable support amount.

Spousal support

Spousal support, sometimes referred to as alimony, is a separate support amount that may be awarded to a spouse during and after a divorce.  In Louisiana, there are two types of spousal support – interim spousal support and final periodic spousal support.

Interim spousal support

The court may award interim support while the divorce is pending when one spouse isn’t able to financially support themselves. This is seen in cases where, for example, one spouse primarily was a stay at home parent throughout the marriage.

Interim support is generally only ordered from the time a spouse makes the request for support until six months after the final judgment of divorce is rendered. Interim support is the most common type of support that’s ordered by the court.

Interim support has nothing to do with fault. Instead, they’re determined based on the parties’ lifestyle during the marriage and the income and expenses of each party at the time of the divorce.

Final periodic spousal support

Final periodic spousal support is an amount awarded to a party who’s free from fault in the breakup of the marriage and is in need of support. It may be ordered to be permanent; however, generally orders for final periodic support range between a few months to a couple years depending on the situation.

It doesn’t consider the lifestyle of the marriage but instead is based on the spouse’s inability to meet their financial needs. A permanent support order is rare and is often only issued when the recipient spouse is unable to work due to a disability or advanced age. To be eligible for final periodic support, the parties need to have been married for upwards of 10-15 years.

Considerations for spousal support

There’s no formula for interim or final support like there is in child support, which means your attorney must present your evidence effectively for your spousal support result to be fair.

There are many issues that can impact how much and how long someone receives or pays support. If you’re going through a divorce, it’s important to seek experienced legal counsel if you believe you’re entitled to support or if you believe your spouse will be seeking support.


While many people work with family attorneys in Lake Charles during difficult times in their life, a family lawyer can also help you during one of the most wonderful – adopting a child.

Louisiana continues to set records for the most adoptions in a year. In less than 12 months, 912 foster children were adopted into permanent homes in 2018.

A family law attorney can guide you through the adoption process and navigate its complications, especially with intra-family adoptions that require terminating parental rights and private adoptions with complex rules.

Whether you’re looking to adopt or you’ve been notified that someone wants to adopt your child, our Lake Charles family lawyers are here to help and guide you through the process.

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Prenuptial agreements

A prenuptial agreement may have negative connotations for some, but this legal tool is designed to protect both parties and any children in the event of divorce.

A prenuptial agreement is used to clarify how property and assets that have been brought into a marriage will be handled, make plans to care for and protect children from a previous relationship, and even plan for support if the marriage ends.

A family law attorney at The Johnson Firm can help you create a binding and fair prenuptial agreement that protects your financial future should a divorce occur.

Domestic violence

A domestic violence case involves threats or abuse between two individuals in some familial relationship. The relationship can be between dating partners, spouses, children and parents/stepparents, members of the same household, and other family members.

In cases involving domestic violence or stalking, a family attorney can help a victim petition the court for a protective order when they feel threatened and fear for their safety. A family law attorney can also help defend someone against accusations of abuse and prevent the issuance of a restraining order.

A protective order can be long-term or temporary if there’s danger of abuse or harm. If the restrained person violates the order that limits or prohibits their contact with the protected party, the restrained person can be arrested and face criminal charges as a result. Domestic violence cases are very serious and should only be handled with an experienced Lake Charles family law attorney with The Johnson Firm by your side.


Emancipation is a court process that allows a minor to become legally self-supporting with the adult responsibility to manage their own welfare. Through emancipation, a minor is no longer legally under the care of their parents.

Benefits of working with a family law attorney

Many areas of family law can be incredibly complex. A Lake Charles family law attorney doesn’t just help you protect your legal rights; they also serve as your advocate and help you seek a fair resolution.

Even if you and your spouse agree on most issues, an attorney can:

  • Make sure you’re protected legally
  • Ensure financial issues are fair
  • Make sure paperwork is completed correctly

In a more contentious divorce or child custody matter, a family law attorney in Lake Charles can:

  • Prevent bullying and intimidation
  • Seek financial security for yourself and/or your children
  • Provide objective support
  • Make sure the agreement is fair

Legal counsel is especially important if you believe your spouse is hiding assets, you’ve been subjected to abuse or neglect, you’re seeking spousal support, or you’re filing for divorce on the grounds of fault.

What to look for when hiring a family law attorney

You have many options when hiring a family law attorney in Lake Charles to represent you. As you compare attorneys in your area, don’t only consider their experience and expertise, but also consider how comfortable you feel with them after a consultation.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, including how much experience they have with cases similar to yours, past results they’ve achieved, and the strategy they would use to help resolve your case.

When choosing an attorney, ask yourself:

  • Is the attorney easy to understand?
  • Do you feel comfortable with their approach and having them represent you in negotiations or court?
  • Most importantly – do you trust them with your case and your family?

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Contact a Lake Charles family law attorney today

No matter what type of family law issue you’re facing, the compassionate family law attorneys at The Johnson Firm are here to help. We’ll support you through the entire process and offer sound legal advice while protecting your rights.

Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation with a family law attorney in Lake Charles, Louisiana by calling (337) 433-1414 now.

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You’ll want a partner and advocate who can confidently maneuver the emotional and financial intricacies of any family law matter. From custody, child support, and community property, to adoption and prenuptial agreements, we’re committed to protecting you and the best interests of your family.

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