Louisiana divorce laws

Knowledge is key when it comes to making legal issues go smoothly. If you have decided to divorce in Louisiana, you should make an effort to study Louisiana divorce law. As you already learned the answers to the most popular questions about divorce on the Louisiana Q&A page, now we invite you to read the overview of local laws.

Marriage dissolution in Louisiana can have either no-fault or fault grounds. The former is the better choice as it is the easier process.

When an individual chooses no-fault reasons for divorce, Louisiana law regarding divorce does not require any proof. You simply state in your claim that your marriage has failed irreversibly because you lived separately for half a year or more and there is no way you can get back together. In carrying out this kind of dissolution, neither party is contesting. Instead, they create a mutual agreement where guardianship, property division and spousal maintenance are outlined (you should describe how you will divide everything relevant to your situation).

During divorce in Louisiana, the process of granting spousal support consists of two steps: the couple can define the type and amount of support and then court can either approve it or add changes to what the couple proposes. This support, also known as alimony, can be two types: temporary and permanent. The first type is granted to help either party while the litigation is going on, and the aim of the second one is to provide one party with money after the divorce is final. Temporary support is thought to help to maintain the living standards the couple was used to during the marriage and permanent is necessary when either party cannot meet her or his needs after divorce.

Also, remember that Louisiana is a community property state. This means that everything the couple earned and bought during marriage is considered to be the common property of both spouses. Since they own it equally, and the court will decide that both partners should receive equal parts of the property and real estate.

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If the initiating party wants to divorce by providing evidence of the answering party’s wrongdoing, they are free to choose from the following list of reasons that are accepted by divorce laws in Louisiana:

  1. Unfaithfulness
  2. Conducting a felony and being sentenced to tough labor or death penalty
  3. Sexual or physical abuse
  4. Entering a protective order or injunction against your partner to ensure the safety of your kids.

Fault-based divorces are harder to carry out since you as an initiator will have to prove your grounds and the court will make a decision on the division of finances, property and other issues on its own. In such cases, the proceedings may be delayed and prolonged. Also, legal advice is often ordered for such cases, making them even more expensive.

If you choose to get divorced using a no-fault ground, divorce laws in Louisiana allow you represent yourself in court.

Divorce process in Louisiana

When the divorce papers are ready, you should file them in accordance with the Louisiana law for divorce. The petition is submitted along with the supporting documents, which include verification, financial statements, settlement agreement and parenting plan (if you are parents). Make copies of all the papers. Once the court worker grants the index number to your case, remember to check that it is stated on every paper you file.

After filing, the initiator must deliver the papers to their spouse appropriately. State of Louisiana divorce laws allow you to do that by the following means:

  • Through certified mail service
  • In person. The county sheriff or professional server can do this for you.
  • By yourself. If you are able to deliver the papers this way, fill out the waiver of service form in the court.

The next stage of the divorce process in Louisiana is separation for at least 180 days if you have no minor children or 365 days if you do. During this time the couple cannot go back to living together since the separation is meant to demonstrate that the marriage cannot be repaired. Thus, you must live separately for the set amount of time for your Louisiana divorce process to be finalized.

States divorce law