If your Google search has brought you to this page you are probably getting ready to file for divorce or are considering your options.
I’ve written a number of legal articles to help explain some of the nuances of filing for divorce in Louisiana and I hope this one will explain the numerous fees you may encounter in a way that is easy to understand.
Divorce in Louisiana
Divorce happens often. It’s not always one person’s fault and both parties may agree to part ways without any drama or issues. Not every divorce in Louisiana has to be a fight and married people can often work out their differences and file an uncontested divorce in Louisiana and save money and headache.
If you and your spouse are considering divorce in Louisiana, we can help you through the process.
How Much Does Divorce Cost?
The cost of divorce in Louisiana can range wildly depending on your situation and the attorneys you speak with. Many factors go into the cost of a divorce such as child custody, community property and other factors.
There are two main costs associated with the cost of divorce in Louisiana:
- Lawyer fees
- Filing or court fees
The filing fees are paid to the court and will only slightly vary depending on the parish where you file your divorce. The attorney fees is where you will find the most differences. Some attorneys feel they need to charge a high amount for divorces just because they can, but you will find our law firm charges based on the facts of your case and will give you the best possible price for lawyer fees.
Lawyer Cost Divorce
You’re probably wondering what a divorce will end up costing you in the long run. The lawyer cost for a divorce in Louisiana ranges a great deal depending on the type of divorce you have to file plus the amount of court time you will have to spend if there’s a fight. Lawyer fees add up quickly if you end up with a drawn-out court battle.
However, not all divorces end up in court and the majority of them can be settled outside of court. This saves you time and money on lawyer fees. In fact, our office offers flat-rate fees for divorces which saves you even more money and you know exactly what the representation will cost.
We don’t charge you a high price to file for divorce. In fact, the Andries Law Firm often charges less than half of what other law firms charge.
Filing for Divorce in Louisiana
There are a few things you need to know in regards to “how much does it cost to file a divorce in Louisiana.”
First, it all depends on whether your divorce is a contested matter or uncontested. A contested divorce is one in which there are various issues the parties cannot agree on and wish to have a Judge rule on. This could include child custody, child support, community property and other ancillary matters that need to be settled.
An uncontested divorce in Louisiana is exactly what it sounds like; the parties agree. These are substantially easier, but still have particular requirements that must be met. You want to follow these court rules exactly or you will have to start over.
Uncontested divorces are substantially cheaper as there may not even be a court hearing. Basically, there is no fight. Sure, there may be small matters that you will have to work out with your spouse, but you have agreed to file the divorce and work them out without judicial assistance.
For the purpose of this article in discussing divorce fees in Louisiana, we will assume we are only talking about the actual filing. Attorney fees vary widely on contested divorces because you will likely have to enter into an hourly agreement. With attorney fees averaging $150-$300/hour, your legal fees can add up quickly!
Uncontested divorces are different, whereas, some attorneys will work out a flat fee arrangement with you. We do that here and it saves clients a substantial amount of money. You pay us one fee and we handle the rest. Our rates are highly competitive, call us for pricing.
How Much Does a Simple Divorce Cost?
A simple divorce or uncontested divorce costs substantially less than a contested divorce that ends up in court. Most attorneys have a higher fee for court and you may end up waiting for hours for the judge to call your case. You could easily end up paying your attorney for 4-5 hours of waiting time which could be thousands of dollars and this is before your case is even called.
A simple Louisiana divorce costs substantially less because no court is involved and your attorney doesn’t have to prepare for court and meet with you multiple times to make sure everything is secure. Our firm handles uncontested divorces all over Louisiana and are known for having some of the lowest prices of any attorney.
How Much Does a Divorce Cost if Both Parties Agree?
Married people who can agree to the terms of the divorce and split without a court battle can save a ton of money on their divorce. It also helps if the defendant will agree to sign a Waiver of Service so that they do not have to be officially served with the petition. The fact that both parties agree to the divorce will save time and money in the long run.
Who Pays Attorneys Fees in a Divorce?
The party that hires our firm pays attorney’s fees.
Divorce Lawyer Fees
Our divorce fees depend on your situation and factors such as your location, your spouse’s location, how long you’ve been separated and whether your spouse will agree to the terms of the divorce.
We try to keep our divorce fees as low as possible and can work with your financial situation. While other divorce law firms charge by the hour, we believe in charging one flat-fee rate so you know what your costs will be and won’t have to guess.
How Much Does it Cost to File for Divorce in Louisiana?
Once we have gathered all of the required information and compiled it into a Petition for Divorce, we now have to file the documents and have your ex-spouse served. If he/she accepts service, we execute what’s called a Waiver of Service. This saves on service fees and makes the process much quicker. Who wants to get served at work? I wouldn’t and most people agree to accept the service. It puts money back in your pocket if you have children together.
The Clerk of Court fees vary from parish to parish, but expect to pay anywhere from $250-$400 to have your Petition for Divorce filed. for example, divorce filing fees in Alexandria, Louisiana are approximately $400.
This includes service and if you can talk with your ex and get them to agree to accept service, you may get a portion of this back. This filing fee doesn’t go to your attorney, but is solely for the processing of your divorce paperwork. Attorney fees are charged separately.
How Much are Attorney Fees for Uncontested Divorces?
Each situation is different and you will need to send us a message to explain your situation so that we can provide you with a quote. The Andries Law Firm charges flat-rate fees which means you will know exactly how much you have to pay upfront. There are no hidden fees as we do not charge by the hour for uncontested divorces.
The Clerk will stamp your petition and send it to the Judge’s chambers and present it for signature. If you are filing a 102 Divorce, there is a waiting period to have your divorce finalized. Let’s discuss that right now.
Flat-Rate Divorce Fees Save Money
We prefer flat-rate fees for divorces because both parties will know exactly how much the legal representation will cost. You pay it one time and have access to our firm as often as you need. You don’t have to worry about the clock ticking and it costing you more money for every phone call or email.
How long do I have to wait to get a Divorce in Louisiana?
- If you are married with children, the separation requirement in Louisiana is 365 days.
- If you are married without children, you only have to wait 180 days.
These are the “No-Fault” divorces, but you can file and claim adultery or abuse and that will speed up the waiting period.
If you haven’t met the required separation requirement before filing, you just have to file your petition and wait. If you have already been separated and living apart beyond the requirement, you file and the judge will sign your judgment and you will be divorced.
Legal Separation in Louisiana
You no longer have to file for legal separation in Louisiana as long as you have a non-covenant marriage. Not many people get covenant marriages anymore, so you don’t have to worry about legal separation in Louisiana.
However, there is still a living separate and apart rule that must be followed for an uncontested divorce.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Divorce in Louisiana?
Once your divorce is filed, it is out of your hands. Your Petition for Divorce will make its way to the Judge and he/she will review to make sure everything has been filed correctly. If there are any issues with the filing, our office will be notified and we will contact you to make corrections if needed. Once the Judgment for Divorce is signed, you will receive a copy and your divorce will be finalized. This part could take a week or longer depending on the court docket and how busy the judge is.
How Can I Get a Quick Divorce?
Unfortunately, there’s no real quick way to do it. Let’s say you’ve already been separated for the required amount of time to satisfy Louisiana’s separation requirement and your spouse agrees to sign the Waiver of Service, then it will be relatively quick. You just then have to wait for the Judge to sign and for it to pass through all of the systems.
Can My Spouse Slow Down the Divorce Process?
Not really. If it’s a hotly contested case, then yes, they can file numerous things that keep you in court and fighting. If it’s an uncontested divorce, once you have gathered the information and spoken with your attorney, there’s not much your ex can do to prolong the inevitable. If you want a divorce, you can get a divorce and your ex cannot keep you in a relationship that you do not want to be in.
Can You Get a Divorce Without Spouse’s Consent in Louisiana?
Absolutely! Gone are the days when someone could just say they don’t agree to divorce. Sure, there may be issues that take years for the parties to hash out, but they can’t keep you married. Even avoiding service won’t stop the divorce.
I hope this article was helpful in explaining how much a divorce costs in Louisiana and the living separate and apart requirement. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call us at (318) 269-5857 or shoot me an email: Jerome@AndriesLawFirm.com.
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