Are you considering filing an uncontested divorce in Louisiana or currently going through one? We can help answer your questions.
Things started out great, but communication fell apart somewhere along the way. Now, you’re facing a divorce in Louisiana. It happens. More often than you think. You’re not alone!
The question you’re probably asking yourself and typing into the Google search bar is: Where do I go from here? How do I get my life back on track while going through a divorce?
That’s where we come in. I’m not going to sit here and say we’ll be able to handle everything for you while you go through a divorce. That would be setting an unrealistic expectation.
You’re already going through a life changing event that didn’t turn out the way you thought it would, so we’re not going to add insult to injury by giving you unrealistic expectations by downplaying the effect getting a divorce has on couples.
It will be hard. It will be difficult. You will experience more stress than you thought possible.
But, you know what? It’s going to be OK! Maybe your life took a turn that you didn’t anticipate. Now’s the time to get it back on track.
Let us answer your divorce questions
You’re probably sitting down right now frantically searching the internet for answers to your questions. I’m going to make it as easy as I possibly can- I would rather you find all of your answers on one page instead of going to numerous sites that may have wrong or even outdated information about Louisiana divorces.
Use this page as a guide and call or email us if it’s ont adequate for your situation. I’m going to break down Louisiana Divorce Law for contested and uncontested divorces, beginning with the basics.
Contested Divorces vs Uncontested Divorces
This is probably the best place to start before we get into the logistics of the divorce process in Louisiana.
Contested Divorce simply means there are some ancillary issues that you and your spouse fail to agree on. Could be you’re unable to agree on child custody matters, community property, bank accounts, who gets the family bible, etc.
Uncontested Divorce is exactly what it sounds like. Both parties agree to amicably split and they agree on all issues.
This is actually more common than you would think. Many couples still care for each other, but realize they can’t live together and are able to agree on just about everything.
Remember, the days when a spouse can force you to remain married to them are LONG gone! So, don’t ever feel like you are stuck in a bad situation that you can’t leave.
Uncontested Divorce Agreement
If both parties agree to everything, what we do at the Andries Law Firm, is to have everyone meet at our office to discuss the uncontested divorce and the parameters of the split. We then draft the divorce documents and hand a copy to each party to sign and file at the court house. You may still have to complete the waiting period for Divorcing couples, but we can go ahead and file your paperwork.
The divorce paperwork usually takes a week or less to draft and then we meet with you to review. Fairly simple process when you have a Louisiana Divorce Attorney at your side to guide you along the way, but you want to make sure it’s done right the first time. We’ve had clients contact us to fix something they filed incorrectly. It’s expensive, more time consuming and could make you have to stay married a little longer.
How to get an Uncontested Divorce
You have a few hurdles to jump through in order to get your uncontested divorce in Louisiana.
First, you have to file a Petition for Divorce. This document is filed with the court and will state both parties, addresses, whether there was children born of the marriage, jurisdiction and venue and an order to set a hearing, etc.
Next, you have to serve your spouse with the paperwork. This can get costly as it may cost a couple hundred dollars to get them served with the divorce. If they dodge service, you may have to hire a private server to track them down.
Best case scenario is if you two are still getting along, you may be able agree to accept service and file a waiver of service with the court system. This will save a great deal of money with filing fees.
Now, comes the waiting period to get an uncontested divorce in Louisiana.
How long does it take?
Probably our most asked question is if there is a waiting period for divorce in Louisiana. This is known as living separate and apart.
Louisiana divorce law has created a body law and in that law are built in waiting periods to get your divorce. This was put into effect years ago with the idea that couples would cool down after a period of time and work on their marriage. Sometimes this works and couples are able to work through their issues and make amends. Other times it doesn’t and ends up being more detrimental to the couple.
I don’t exactly agree with lawmakers on this point and believe that a couple should be able to split if the marriage isn’t working, but the law is clear: There is a waiting period to get a divorce in Louisiana, even uncontested divorces.
The time periods for getting an uncontested divorce in Louisiana are as follows:
1. 180 days if there are no children born of the marriage
2. 365 if there are children under 18
That’s it. Simple.
A couple filing for divorce without children can finalize their Louisiana uncontested divorce in a matter of months. The living separate and apart waiting period is extended to 365 days when there are children involved.
Louisiana is a no-fault divorce state. What that means is you don’t necessarily have to have a reason to divorce. All you have to do is file and wait the required waiting period or wait the period first and then file.
All you have to prove in a no-fault divorce is that you have fulfilled the waiting period requirement. Remember, 180 days if no children and 365 days if children.
At Fault Divorce
The State of Louisiana grants Judgments of Divorce for a wide range of causes which include:
- 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, in accordance with law, against the other spouse to protect the spouse seeking the divorce or a child of one of the spouses from abuse.
What if my spouse cheated?
If your partner cheated on you and you desire to get a divorce based on adultery, you can get an immediate divorce, but you will have to prove your case in court. Possibly in front of other people as the courtrooms are open to the public. Also, it will be in the public record. To reiterate, if your spouse cheated on you, you will have to prove the infidelity in open court and it will go into your file at the courthouse.
Not exactly something anyone wants to go through, but it does happen. A divorce based on adultery has no waiting period if you can prove it. Remember, it’s not always what happened, it’s what you can prove in a Louisiana court.
How much does it cost to file?
It doesn’t matter if your divorce is contested or uncontested, fault or no-fault: you will have to pay filing fees. These are charged by the court and not your attorney and can range from $250 – $400 depending on a few factors such as parish and whether your soon to be ex must be served.
Remember, you can save time and money if you get them to sign a waiver of service.
I can't afford filing fees
If you fall into the low income bracket and hare having difficulty making ends meet, there’s something we can file that basically asks the court to allow you to forgo the upfront filing fees and grant the ability to pay them back later. This is called a Pauper Form. Let us know if you fall into that category and we’ll prepare one for you.
Do I need an attorney for an Uncontested Divorce?
It’s recommended that you have an attorney handle your divorce in Louisiana even if it’s uncontested and you agree on everything. You want to make sure the paperwork is completed correctly and presented to the court for finalization of your divorce. You don’t want to make a mistake and extend your time period.
If you’ve come to this page, there’s a good chance you’re considering filing for divorce or have a few questions that you want answered. We’re happy to help in any way that we can. We charge flat rate fees for uncontested divorces because we understand that you’re already going through a tough time and don’t need the additional stress of a growing attorney bill. Give us a call today at (318) 229-1608 and we’ll help you through the entire divorce process.
Divorce isn't easy
It shouldn't cost an arm and a leg either.
Not all divorces require a fight. Many spouses are able to agree and move on without a lengthy court battle. Attorney Jerome Andries can help you get your divorce as quickly and painless as possible without breaking the bank.
-Jerome Andries, Louisiana Divorce Attorney