Divorce in Louisiana Frequently Asked Questions
How long does the divorce process take?
If you don’t have children and the divorce is uncontested, the minimum is about six months. If you have children and it is uncontested, the minimum is about a year and if you have a contested divorce, usually will have to wait two years before the divorce is finalized. You have to live apart for that period of time.
2. How much does the average divorce in Louisiana cost?
It depends on your situation. There is no fixed fee as different lawyers will charge anywhere from $175 – $375 for a divorce per hour on retainer. But if you want to know the court filing fees which are usually fixed, check this page which is organized in alphabetical order to get the ball park figure for filing fees in each state.
3. What are the residency requirements for divorce in Louisiana?
You have to have lived in Louisiana for at least one year. If you are a resident of the state but you happen to be temporarily domiciled someplace else you can file for divorce in Louisiana so long as you can prove your permanent residency in the state (taxes, driver’s license, mailing address, etc)
4. What are the grounds for divorce?
There are both no fault and fault based divorces in Louisiana. For no fault, you just have to show you have not been living together or you are separated at least six months. For fault, it depends on whether you have a covenant marriage or not. If you have a covenant marriage, you have to provide proof of either abuse, adultery, incarceration, separation for at least a year, or abandonment for at least a year. If you do not have a covenant marriage you need to show adultery or felony conviction.
5. Do I have to split assets 50/50 with my spouse?
Yes. Louisiana is a community property state.
6. How are custody and child support issues decided?
The best interest of the child standard is used as well as child support guidelines. There is a joint custody presumption.
7. How are marital debts treated?
Either the parties can come to an agreement (which the court must approve) or the court decides for you.
8. What is quickest amount of time it take get a certificate of dissolution of the marriage?
Again, that would be at least a year at the shortest if you have no kids and it is uncontested. Two years if you have kids. Contested divorces could take longer.
9. Are parenting classes mandatory in Louisiana?
No. It is based on the judge’s discretion.
10. Does the conduct of the parties impact custody or support in Louisiana divorce?
Yes. Potentially if a party is abusive or neglectful or if the party committed adultery or some other fault, the court has discretion to consider these issues in determining custody and alimony awards.