Divorce Guide

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Louisiana Divorce Petition

Louisiana divorce petition, also known as petition for dissolution of divorce is an important document that you will submit in your divorce proceedings. It is your request to the court stating that you want to get divorced. It sets the facts of the case and the complaint against the other party.

The main document to start the divorce process in Louisiana is the divorce petition form. The petition must specify the grounds on which you are filing divorce. It is filed in the Parish District Court by the party who is called the petitioner, while the responding party is called the respondent.

Residency Requirement

In Louisiana the divorce process will only start when one of the spouses meet all the residential requirements. This residency requirement is fulfilled by the party who has recently moved into Louisiana. The spouse filing the divorce petition form must be residing in Louisiana for at least 12 months prior to filing.

Grounds for Divorce

There are two types of grounds on which divorce can be filed: 1) No-Fault Ground; and 2) Fault Grounds. In Louisiana, most of the couples file for no-fault divorce.

The only basis of “No-Fault Based Ground” is that if children are involved, either of the parties must be living separately or apart for at least 6 months to one year before filing the petition. If you are filing on this basis, it does not require any proof of marital breakdown.

On the other hand, for filing divorce on “Fault basis”, the grounds include: 1) Adultery; 2) Cruelty; 3) Abandonment for at least 1 year; 4) Sexual abuse; 5)Living separately for at least 2 years; 6) Impotency; 7) Drug addiction.

Process of filing Louisiana divorce petition:

  • When you decide to file for Louisiana divorce petition, the court undertakes certain issues like child custody, alimony, child support, property division, and debt payment on trial basis. If these issues are solved, you have to mention the order made for these issues in the petition form.
  • If both the parties agree on the divorce terms, and if you are filing for an uncontested divorce, you can file the divorce papers without lawyer’s help. In case the divorce is contested which means issues of children are not solved yet, you have to hire a lawyer. Divorce process involves many legal complications, so it is advisable to hire a lawyer who can guide you in your case.
  • Make sure that both the spouses meet the residency requirements for filing the Louisiana divorce petition form. You should also fulfill the grounds for divorce and must have proof on which you are filing for divorce.
  • Contact the Parish Judicial District Court where any of the spouses reside, and request for divorce petition copy.
  • Fill out the petition form. You have to mention yours and your spouse’s name and contact information, background information about your marriage, marriage certificate, address proof, name of children (if any) and the grounds on which you are filing for divorce.
  • File divorce petition with the court’s clerk. Pay the necessary filing fees. The filing fee amount varies depending on the court where you are submitting the documents. Contact your area District Court to know the filing fee amount.

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