Divorce proceedings in Louisiana differ slightly from those in other states. Or, at the very least, they differ from the others we’ve discussed thus far.
However, divorce laws range from state to state. This is because divorces and related laws vary from state to state because there is no federal process for divorce.
In this article, we will discuss how to file for divorce in Louisiana.
How To File For Divorce In Louisiana
Meet The Residency Requirements
Before you can file for a divorce, you must first meet the state’s residency requirements. The residency requirement in Louisiana to file for a divorce is that one of the spouses must be “domiciled” in the state.
To be domiciled, one of the spouses must have established and maintained a residence in a parish of Louisiana for six months, where they will file for the divorce.
Preparing Your Forms
The second prerequisite requirement to be able to file for a divorce is to prepare the forms that the state requires.
The number and types of forms vary depending on the county where you or your spouse live.
You may also have grounds for divorce or not. In Louisiana, there are fault-based divorces. There is also no-fault divorce, so you do not show proof of your spouse’s faults to attain a divorce.
Also to note is that there are two types of divorces in Louisiana. They are covenant marriage divorce, and regular divorce.
Covenant Marriage Divorce
To get a divorce with a covenant marriage, there has been a complete and total breach of the marital covenant commitment. Both spouses must attend counseling before a court can grant a covenant divorce.
There must be a legal ground for a divorce if it is an absolute divorce. You can file for a divorce on the following fault grounds:
- Felony conviction and has been sentenced to death or imprisonment with hard labor.
- Sexual or physical abuse against you or your child/step-child during the marriage
- A criminal or civil protective order or injunction was issued against your spouse during your marriage to protect you or your child/step-child from abuse.
Louisiana is also a no-fault divorce. A no-fault divorce can be filed by stating that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
In Louisiana, there are two types of no-fault divorce. The first is a no-fault divorce based on separation if you and your spouse live apart for at least 180 days if you have no minor children and 360 days if you have minor children.
The second type of no-fault divorce is when you and your spouse have experienced irreconcilable differences for at least six months prior to filing.
Filing For A Divorce
You will file for the divorce in the county’s courthouse, where one of the spouses resides. After filing your forms, you must pay a court fee.
The average filing fee in Louisiana ranges from $150 to $250. However, covenant divorce filing fees range from $400 to $600. You may ask for a fee waiver if you cannot afford the filing fee.
If you are the supposed defendant and your spouse filed a divorce against you, you need to respond as quickly as possible. Otherwise, your spouse can get a default/uncontested divorce.
Serving Your Forms
You can serve your spouse the divorce complaint in multiple ways. These two ways are:
- Sheriff deputy
- You might deliver it to your spouse if they signed an Acceptance of Service
But if your spouse is in jail, deployed in the military, or you cannot locate them, you may have to try another way of serving your forms. You can check with the court clerk about service in these situations.