Areas of Practice

 Personal Injury

    Auto Accidents
        The results of a car accident can be physically, emotionally, and financially devastating and can affect you for the rest of your life. Unfortunately, insurance companies will make every attempt to settle any and all claims as soon as possible. It is important to retain legal counsel as soon as possible following an accident because the insurance companies will be contacting you immediately. You will notice that the insurance companies are acting quickly. You may think they are doing this so that you are quickly compensated. While a quick check may seem tempting at the time, it is important that all of your damages and injuries are assessed in order to come to a fair settlement. Insurance companies are interested in settling auto accident cases soon after an accident and without considering long term effects of the accident. This is why it is important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible and before making any statements to insurance companies.

Wrongful Death

    Dealing with the loss of a loved one is already difficult enough, but knowing that the loss was caused by someone else’s negligence only adds to the grief. The uncertainty of whether or not those responsible for someone else’s death will ever face true justice can be unbearable. If such a tragic event has affected you or a loved one, you can trust that the attorneys at Vincent & Heard will be with you every step of the way to make sure those who are responsible are held accountable for their actions.

 Estate Planning

    Most people rather not think about their death, and many people don’t, until it’s too late. Perhaps the only thing more difficult than imagining leaving behind your family is the thought of them fighting over the things that you left behind rather than cherishing your memory. Consider some of the questions below before scheduling a consultation with one of our experienced estate planning attorneys:
        What happens if I don’t have a will? If you pass away without a will, then Louisiana law will control the distribution of your estate. These laws often have unintended consequences which can create problems far down the road, especially for a surviving spouse. It is important to have a valid will to avoid unnecessary costs and delays for your family after you are gone.
        What is a usufruct? This word may seem funny but has significant legal consequences. By default, Louisiana law provides that a surviving spouse gets a usufruct of the decedent’s half of the community property. This means that the surviving spouse gets the right to use the property and keep the “fruits” or revenues during his or her lifetime. However, the surviving spouse may not legally dispose of that property. The concept of usufruct may make sense when applied to real estate but can create complications when dealing with other types of property, like bank accounts and vehicles. Although you may think you know what will happen to your property after your death, it is important to contact an attorney to make sure, especially if you or your spouse have children from another relationship.
        Can I make my own will? The quick answer is yes, Louisiana does recognize holographic, or handwritten, wills. However, there are many rules regarding handwritten wills. If these rules are not strictly followed, your will may be completely invalidated, which may cause more problems than not having a will at all. For this reason, you are strongly recommended to consult with an attorney to draft and execute a valid notarial will.
        What if I don’t own much property? Regardless of how much property you own, it is important to have a valid will. Louisiana recognizes “small successions” and allows for less complicated procedures for those types of successions. Estates that are valued under $125,000 are considered “small” and can be completed by an affidavit instead of the more complicated procedure for handling larger estates.
        Louisiana only recognizes two types of wills. Any document purporting to be a will that does not conform with the requirements of the following types is invalid.
    The cost of long-term care facilities, including nursing homes and assisted living, can quickly deplete entire estates. It is important to account for the possibility of these costs far in advance.
    Power of Attorney
    Louisiana Laws


    Losing a close friend or family member is emotionally devastating. During such a difficult time, surviving family members are faced with many decisions which can be overwhelming when dealing with the grief of losing a loved one. The attorneys at Vincent & Heard are here to offer compassionate advice and will walk you through the probate process every step of the way.
    Louisiana Laws


    2 Types of Divorce

        Louisiana Civil Code Article 103 provides the following grounds for an “immediate” divorce, except in the case of covenant marriages:

            The spouses have been living separate and apart continuously for the requisite period of time, in accordance with Article 103.1, or more on the date the petition is filed.
            The other spouse has committed adultery.
            The other spouse has committed a felony and has been sentenced to death or imprisonment at hard labor.
            During the marriage, the other spouse physically or sexually abused the spouse seeking divorce or a child of one of the spouses, regardless of whether the other spouse was prosecuted for the act of abuse.
            After a contradictory hearing or consent decree, a protective order or an injunction was issued during the marriage against the other spouse to protect the spouse seeking the divorce or a child of one of the spouses from abuse.

        A Petition for Divorce filed pursuant to Louisiana Civil Code Article 102 requires that the parties live separate and apart for 180 days (or 365 days if the parties have minor children) from the date the defendant is served the petition for divorce or from the date that the defendant executes a waiver of service.

    Exclusive Use
        One of the issues that will be decided is who gets to use what items of community property after the divorce has been filed.

Uncontested divorce
        The parties may know what they want. However, it is strongly recommended that both parties seek the counsel of an experienced divorce attorney to ensure the agreement is in their best interest. Many “uncontested” divorces may become “contested” when a party learns that they are entitled to certain rights or claims that they were unaware of. Our attorneys recognize that the time, cost, and frustration of litigation should be avoided if possible. At Vincent & Heard, we believe that a fair agreement can be attained only after both parties are completely aware of all of their rights and obligations created during the marriage. 

    Spousal Support (or Alimony)
        Interim Support
            interim spousal support is based on the needs of the party asking for spousal support and the ability of the other party to pay. It is intended to maintain the standard of living shared by the husband and wife during the marriage.
            It is important to note that the fault of one spouse for the breakup of the marriage is not considered in determining interim spousal support

        Final, or Permanent, Support:
            When a spouse has not been at fault prior to the filing of a petition for divorce and is in need of support, based on the needs of that party and the ability of the other party to pay, that spouse may be awarded final periodic support in accordance with Paragraph B of this Article.
            The court shall consider all relevant factors in determining the amount and duration of final support, including:
                The income and means of the parties, including the liquidity of such means.
                The financial obligations of the parties, including any interim allowance or final child support obligation.
                The earning capacity of the parties.
                The effect of custody of children upon a party's earning capacity.
                The time necessary for the claimant to acquire appropriate education, training, or employment.
                The health and age of the parties.
                The duration of the marriage.
                The tax consequences to either or both parties.
                The existence, effect, and duration of any act of domestic abuse committed by the other spouse upon the claimant or a child of one of the spouses, regardless of whether the other spouse was prosecuted for the act of domestic violence.
            When a spouse is awarded a judgment of divorce pursuant to Article 103(2), (3), (4), or (5), or when the court determines that a party or a child of one of the spouses was the victim of domestic abuse committed by the other party during the marriage, that spouse is presumed to be entitled to final periodic support.

            The sum awarded under this Article shall not exceed one-third of the obligor's net income. Nevertheless, when support is awarded after a judgment of divorce is rendered pursuant to Article 103(4) or (5), or when the court determines that a party or a child of one of the spouses was the victim of domestic abuse committed by the other party during the marriage, the sum awarded may exceed one-third of the obligor's net income and may be awarded as a lump sum.
Community Property

        Louisiana law provides that anything acquired by either spouse during the marriage is presumed community property, meaning each spouse owns half. However, some exceptions may apply.

        Common Exceptions:
            Inherited Property
            Property donated to one spouse individually
Child Support

        The Louisiana Child Support Guidelines are used by Louisiana courts to determine the amount of child support that will be ordered. Louisiana law provides, in part, the following:

            Basic principles. The premise of these guidelines as well as the provisions of the Civil Code is that child support is a continuous obligation of both parents, children are entitled to share in the current income of both parents, and children should not be the economic victims of divorce or out-of-wedlock birth. The economic data underlying these guidelines, which adopt the Income Shares Model, and the guideline calculations attempt to simulate the percentage of parental net income that is spent on children in intact families incorporating a consideration of the expenses of the parties, such as federal and state taxes and FICA taxes. While the legislature acknowledges that the expenditures of two-household divorced, separated, or non-formed families are different from intact family households, it is very important that the children of this state not be forced to live in poverty because of family disruption and that they be afforded the same opportunities available to children in intact families, consisting of parents with similar financial means to those of their own parents.
            Economic data.
                The Incomes Shares approach to child support guidelines incorporates a numerical schedule of support amounts. The schedule provides economic estimates of child-rearing expenditures for various income levels and numbers of children in the household. The schedule is composed of economic data utilizing a table of national averages adjusted to reflect Louisiana's status as a low-income state and to incorporate a self-sufficiency reserve for low-income obligors to form the basic child support obligation.
                In intact families, the income of both parents is pooled and spent for the benefit of all household members, including the children. Each parent's contribution to the combined income of the family represents his relative sharing of household expenses. This same income sharing principle is used to determine how the parents will share a child support award.
        Child custody determinations are based on the “best interest of the child.” Louisiana Civil Code Article 134 requires a judge to “consider all relevant factors” including the following:
            Except as provided in Paragraph B of this Article, the court shall consider all relevant factors in determining the best interest of the child, including:
                The potential for the child to be abused, as defined by Children's Code Article 603, which shall be the primary consideration.
                The love, affection, and other emotional ties between each party and the child.
                The capacity and disposition of each party to give the child love, affection, and spiritual guidance and to continue the education and rearing of the child.
                The capacity and disposition of each party to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care, and other material needs.
                The length of time the child has lived in a stable, adequate environment, and the desirability of maintaining continuity of that environment.
                The permanence, as a family unit, of the existing or proposed custodial home or homes.
                The moral fitness of each party, insofar as it affects the welfare of the child.
                The history of substance abuse, violence, or criminal activity of any party.
                The mental and physical health of each party. Evidence that an abused parent suffers from the effects of past abuse by the other parent shall not be grounds for denying that parent custody.
                The home, school, and community history of the child.
                The reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of sufficient age to express a preference.
                The willingness and ability of each party to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the child and the other party, except when objectively substantial evidence of specific abusive, reckless, or illegal conduct has caused one party to have reasonable concerns for the child's safety or well-being while in the care of the other party.
                The distance between the respective residences of the parties.
                The responsibility for the care and rearing of the child previously exercised by each party.
            In cases involving a history of committing family violence, as defined in R.S. 9:362, or domestic abuse, as defined in R.S. 46:2132, including sexual abuse, as defined in R.S. 14:403, whether or not a party has sought relief under any applicable law, the court shall determine an award of custody or visitation in accordance with R.S. 9:341 and 364. The court may only find a history of committing family violence if the court finds that one incident of family violence has resulted in serious bodily injury or the court finds more than one incident of family violence.

Property Disputes

        Boundary Disputes
        Acquisitive Prescription

DEBT Collections

        The attorneys and staff at Vincent & Heard have extensive experience in collecting amounts owed to our individual and commercial clients. Our collections practice includes filing suit, completing discovery, conducting judgment debtor rules, obtaining judgments, and garnishing the debtor’s wages.


        Disability discrimination: The Americans with Disabilities Act
    Family Medical Leave Act
    Workers Compensation

Insurance Claims

    Many laws have been enacted to hold insurance companies accountable to their policy holders. These laws provide for stiff penalties where insurance companies are found to have acted in bad faith.


    Acts of Donation and Sale
    Lease-Purchase Agreements