Getting Louisiana Divorce
Getting Louisiana divorce requires the Petition for Dissolution, an important document to be submitted to begin the 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 divorce petition form. The Petition must specify the grounds on which you are filing the divorce. It is filed in the Parish District Court. The party who files the petition is called the Petitioner, while the party responding to it is called the Respondent.
In Louisiana, the divorce process starts only when either spouse meet all the residential requirements. This residency requirement is fulfilled by the party who has recently moved in Louisiana.
The spouse filing for divorce 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; they are: No-Fault Grounds 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, the parties must be living separately or apart from each other for at least 180 days before filing the Petition and if children are not involved, parties must be living separately for at least one year. If you are filing on this basis, it does not require any proof of marital breakdown.
On the other hand, the grounds to file divorce on “Fault basis” are: adultery, cruelty, abandonment for at least 1 year, sexual abuse, living separately for at least 2 years, impotency, and drug addiction.
Process of Filing Louisiana Divorce
- When you are getting Louisiana divorce, the court undertakes certain issues like child custody, child support, alimony, 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 uncontested divorce, you can file the divorce papers without the lawyer’s help. In case if 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 you and your spouse meet the residency requirements for getting Louisiana divorce. 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 properly. 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 the 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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