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Louisiana Divorce Laws
Louisiana Residency Requirements
The filing spouse must be a resident for at least 12 months prior to filing. The divorce shall be filed in the parish in which either spouse resides. Except in the case of a covenant marriage, a divorce shall be granted upon motion of a spouse when either spouse has filed a petition for divorce and upon proof that one hundred eighty days have elapsed from the service of the petition. The Dissolution of Marriage is typically filed with in parish in which the filing spouse lives. (Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure - Article: 42)
Louisiana Divorce Grounds:
That a spouse desires a divorce is a grounds for divorce in Louisiana. There are no requirements to show marital breakdown, fault, living separate and apart, or any other basis for a divorce. After the filing of the petition, the divorce will be granted after a period of 180 days has elapsed from the filing date and if the spouses have lived separate and apart since the filing of the divorce petition. Reconciliation is essentially the only defense to a divorce sought on these grounds. (Louisiana Civil Code Annotated; Title V, Article 102). (2) The spouses have been living separate and apart continuously without reconciliation for a period of one year from the date the judgment of separation from bed and board was signed. (Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure - Article: 103)
Louisiana Property and Debt Division
Being a community property state, all separate property like gifts, inheritances, and property owned prior to the marriage will remain with each spouse and then all other property will be split equally. The court will take to consider the needs of each spouse when determining how the property is to be split and each spouse has the right to ask the court to be awarded the marital home. When deciding who should be awarded the marital home, the spouse who will have custody of the children is typically the court favorite. When making this decision regarding the marital home, the court will consider the following factors: the value of the spouse's property, the economic needs and circumstances of each spouse; the needs of the children; and also the court will consider on a case-by-case the contributions each spouse made to the acquisition of the community property s well as future earning potential. (Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure - Article: 121)
Louisiana Spousal Support, Maintenance, or Alimony:
The court will consider all relevant factors in determining the entitlement, amount, and duration of spousal support. These factors may include: (A) The needs of the parties. (B) The income and means of the parties, including the liquidity of such means. (C) The financial obligations of the parties. (D) The earning capacity of the parties. (E) The effect of custody of children upon a party's earning capacity. (F) The time necessary for the claimant to acquire appropriate education, training, or employment. (G) The health and age of the parties. (H) The duration of the marriage. (I) The tax consequences to either or both parties.
Louisiana Custody and Visitation:
When determining a custody award, the court shall consider all relevant factors in determining the best interest of the child. Such factors may include: (A) The love, affection, and other emotional ties between each party and the child. (B) The capacity and disposition of each party to give the child love, affection, and spiritual guidance and to continue the education and rearing of the child. (C) The capacity and disposition of each party to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care, and other material needs. (D) The length of time the child has lived in a stable, adequate environment, and the desirability of maintaining continuity of that environment. (E) The permanence, as a family unit, of the existing or proposed custodial home or homes. (F) The moral fitness of each party, insofar as it affects the welfare of the child. (G) The mental and physical health of each party. (H) The home, school, and community history of the child. (I) The reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of sufficient age to express a preference. (J) The willingness and ability of each party to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the child and the other party. (K) The distance between the respective residences of the parties. (L) The responsibility for the care and rearing of the child previously exercised by each party. (Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure - Article: 131, 132, 133, 134)
Louisiana Child Support:
Each parent has a responsibility to support a child. If the parents cannot agree, the court will apply the state child support guideline provisions to calculate the appropriate support obligation to be paid. At the courts discretion, it may deviate from the guidelines, by considering the following factors: (A) That the combined adjusted gross income of the parties is not within the amounts shown on the worksheet schedule. (1) If the combined adjusted gross income of the parties is less than the lowest sum shown on the schedule, the court shall determine an amount of child support based on the facts of the case, except that the amount awarded shall not be less than the minimum child support allowed. (2) If the combined adjusted gross income of the parties exceeds the highest sum shown on the schedule, the court shall determine an amount of child support deemed to be appropriate. (B) The legal obligation of a party to support dependents who are not the subject of the action before the court and who are in that party's household. (C) That in a case involving one or more families, consisting of children none of whom live in the household of the noncustodial or non-domiciliary parent but who have existing child support orders. (D) The extraordinary medical expenses of a party, or extraordinary medical expenses for which a party may be responsible, not otherwise taken into consideration under the guidelines. (E) An extraordinary community debt of the parties. (F) The need for immediate and temporary support for a child when a full hearing on the issue of support is pending but cannot be timely held. (G) The permanent or temporary total disability of a spouse to the extent such disability diminishes his present and future earning capacity. (H) Any other consideration which would make application of the guidelines not in the best interest of the child or children or inequitable to the parties. (Louisiana Revised Statutes - Article 9 - Sections: 302)
Louisiana Common Questions
How Do I Know if I Should File in Louisiana?
One would typically file for divorce in the state in which he or she or his or her spouse resides. If you have recently moved to a new state and wish to file in that new state, you may have to establish residency prior to filing.
If you are in the military and are stationed on a base outside your residency state, you typically are able to file in that state or in your residency state.
If you are in the military and are stationed overseas, you would typically file in your home residency state.
Can I Use 3StepDivorceTM if I Have Children?
Yes. The system and your documents will address all the issues regarding your children such as, but not limited to; custody arrangements, visitation and time-sharing, child support, and medical coverage.
How Much Are the Louisiana Filing and/or Court Fees?
The filing and/or court fees are not included in our fee and typically range from $50.00 to $350.00 in total depending on your location of filing and whether or not you have children. The 3StepDivorce service will typically help you yield the lowest filing fee for you because both you and your spouse are in agreement.
How Long Will the Process Take in Louisiana?
The process takes an average of less than 1 hour to answer the required questions and generate the documents. Once you file your documents with the court according the filing procedures, the length of time will vary depending on the number of cases in front of yours. Each court has only one or just a few Judges, Masters, or Referees to review all the pending cases.
Should I File or Should My Spouse File?
As a rule of thumb, for uncontested divorces, the spouse who really wants the divorce to be finalized typically does the filing.
Where and How Do I File My Documents?
The documents are filed at your local parish courthouse in the family law or domestic relations division or department. Inside your account you will receive step-by-step filing procedures.
Can I Mail or Fax My Documents to the Clerk?
Many courts do permit you to mail and/or fax the documents. This will vary from parish to parish and state to state, so it will be best to check with the clerk at the courthouse when you are ready to file.
Do I Have to Go to Court in Louisiana?
Depending on your state and your situation, you may or may not have to attend a short hearing. Most of the time when a hearing is required, it only lasts 10-15 minutes and only the filing spouse must attend. The hearing is where you will be granted your divorce and the judge will sign the final judgment or decree.
Do I Have to Also Hire a Lawyer?
3StepDivorce is designed for you to do your own uncontested divorce without hiring a lawyer. You will be acting as your own lawyer and filing for your own divorce. Should you need or desire legal advice or should your divorce become contested, we do suggest you hire the services of a lawyer.
Will My Name Also Be Changed?
The wife has the option to change her name back to her former or maiden name through the 3StepDivorce solution.
When is the Divorce Actually Finalized in Louisiana?
The divorce is typically finalized when the Judge signs the final judgment or decree. We give a window of 30-90 days from the filing date, but this will vary due to case load at the courthouse and any mandatory waiting periods.
Louisiana Divorce Forms
Louisiana Forms: Our question and answer technology will allow you to easily complete your Alaska divorce forms for an uncontested divorce. Our goal is to give you full control and make "doing your own divorce", fast, easy, and affordable.Louisiana Divorce Forms List
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All Your Completed Louisiana Divorce Forms
Everything in Writing As Suggested by Lawyers & Judges
East to Follow Step-by-Step Filing Procedures
Instant Delivery & Editing Without the Wait
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Works With or Without Children
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This easy to use online divorce is a "do it yourself (without a lawyer)" solution for any uncontested divorce (with or without children) that will be filed in the State of Louisiana. An uncontested divorce is one in which you and your spouse are in agreement and eliminates the stress and expense of settling your divorce in court.
With 3StepDivorceTM you will complete and instantly print your divorce forms (including a marital settlement agreement), and step-by-step filing procedures to file your own divorce in a timely, professional, and hassle free fashion. The online software is designed to give you full control of your divorce and also avoids the use of third party data entry, thus helping protect your personal information and privacy.
3StepDivorceTM is a premium online divorce solution provided by Divorce Source, Inc., the owner and operator of the Divorce Source Network, the web's largest and most visited divorce resource since 1997.
|Provided by Divorce Source (online since 1997) Over 500,000 forms processed.||Have your completed documents within 1 hour (with or without children)||Instantly print your documents (free delivery by US Priority Mail is also available).||Instantly make changes (gives you full control, the way it should be!)||All required divorce documents ready for signing.|
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