You can file for divorce based upon the fact that you are living separate and apart. Louisiana law allows for “no-fault” divorces, which mean you do not have to have a reason for divorce other than living separate and apart. You can separate and then file.
You will need to serve the Petition for Divorce on your spouse at some point. If you cannot locate him/her, you will have to ask the court to appoint an attorney to accept service on his/her behalf. This is known as a curator and they can add costs to your divorce. The fees for a licensed attorney to act as a curator on your divorce case ranges between $300 and $1,100 based on what I’ve seen.
What if my ex moved out of state and I want to get a divorce in Louisiana?
You will have to serve your ex out of state. It may take longer, but it is something that you must do in order to proceed with your divorce in Louisiana. The law provides a process we use to ensure proper service. Your ex must be served before the judge will sign your Judgment of Divorce.
It will be cheaper if you can locate your ex to serve divorce paperwork, but if that’s not an option, you can still get a divorce upon following the proper procedures.
Do I still have to wait the separation time period if he/she left the state?
Yes, you still have to fulfill the living separate and apart requirement to get your divorce in Louisiana. The fact that they left the state doesn’t change the procedures you have to follow in order to complete your divorce.
What are the separation requirements for divorce in Louisiana?
You must live separate and apart for 180 days if you do not have children and 365 days if you do have children born of the marriage. This if for “no-fault” divorces in Louisiana. There are other ways that you can achieve your divorce quicker.
What if my spouse cheated, can I get a faster divorce?
You can. That is if you can locate him/her. In order to get a fault divorce, you will have to allege the facts of the case in open court and allow your spouse the opportunity to respond to the allegations. At fault divorces include abuse and infidelity, among other things and allow you to get divorced faster. However, they are more difficult to achieve because your spouse can refute your evidence.
I hope this article answered your questions about filing divorce against a partner who you cannot find or who has left the state. If you need help with your Louisiana divorce, call the Andries Law Firm at (318) 269-5857 or email Jerome@AndriesLawFirm.com.
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Attorney Jerome Andries