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Online Divorce in Louisiana

All divorcing couples go through several crucial steps to end their marriage legally. To make this period less painful, residents of Louisiana can apply for an uncontested divorce and prepare divorce papers online.

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Uncontested Divorce in Louisiana

According to Louisiana divorce laws, all couples living in this state can file for either contested or uncontested divorce. In turn, the selected type of divorce will determine the length and complexity of the entire marriage dissolution process.

If partners cannot mutually agree on some or all aspects of the divorce, they will be required to go through a contested divorce. In this case, a judge will need to hold a trial and examine evidence to determine the outcome.

Spouses managing to agree on all divorce-related issues, including child custody, spousal support, and division of marital property, can end their marriage privately and amicably. Currently, uncontested divorce is way less time-consuming and expensive than a contested divorce, which is why it is the preferred option for most people living in Louisiana.

Get Your Divorce Forms Completed Online

If spouses want to complete their divorce documents as quickly as possible, they can easily do it online. DivorceOnline is one of the best online divorce companies on the market, helping people prepare uncontested divorce paperwork.

To receive a full set of Louisiana divorce forms, divorcing partners should complete a simple marriage-related questionnaire on our website. Next, instead of selling blank forms, our online divorce software will guide them through each step of selecting and filling out up-to-date divorce papers that comply with local laws and requirements for as little as $139.

Within two business days, our clients can download completed divorce forms along with written instructions on how to file. Thus, the preparation of divorce documents online can be considered a perfect alternative to hiring an attorney both timewise and financially.

Currently, Louisiana residents may be required to submit the following forms:

  • The Petition for Divorce
  • Summons
  • The Verification
  • Parenting Plan
  • Child Support Worksheet
  • Parenting Class Completion Certificate
  • Acceptance of Service
  • Marital Settlement Agreement
  • Financial Affidavit
  • Judgment for Divorce

Steps for Filing a Divorce in Louisiana

To initiate the divorce process in Louisiana, residents of this state should follow several significant steps outlined below.

  • At least one of the spouses must be domiciled in Louisiana to start a divorce case.
  • There is a rebuttable presumption that if a person has established and maintained a residence in a parish of this state for at least six months, they are domiciled in Louisiana.
  • The divorce petition can be filed in the parish where either spouse is domiciled.

Presently, Louisiana accepts both fault-based and no-fault grounds for divorce. If the couple wants to go through a no-fault divorce, they must live separately and apart for at least six months (if no minor children are involved). If spouses have children, they must live separately and apart for a minimum of one year before a judge can grant the divorce.

If parties do not qualify for a no-fault divorce, they can apply for a fault-based marriage termination. Under the Louisiana Civil Code, there are six fault-based grounds for divorce in the state. These are as follows:

  • Adultery
  • Imprisonment
  • Abandonment for one year
  • Physical or sexual abuse
  • Living separate and apart continuously for at least 180 days (where there are no minor children of the marriage) and 365 days (where there are minor children of the marriage)
  • Separate living for one year from the date the judgment of separation from bed and board was signed

To file for divorce, Louisiana residents should bring completed divorce papers to the local court clerk.

Divorce Papers in Louisiana

Usually, required divorce forms vary from courthouse to courthouse, although the primary papers needed to start a divorce process are:

  • The Petition for Divorce
  • Summons
  • The Verification

To determine the exact documents needed for a marriage dissolution in a certain case, divorcing couples should contact the local court clerk. The thing is, the required papers depend on a variety of personal circumstances and the kind of divorce people file for. If submitted forms do not meet local requirements, the divorce case will most likely be dismissed.

Filing Fees

In Louisiana, the legal fees vary from parish to parish, but all divorcing couples should expect to pay anywhere from $250-$400 to have their petition for divorce and other documents filed. Once this payment is released and appropriate papers are submitted, the divorce case is started. The refusal to pay filing fees can also result in a dismissed civil case.

Waiting Period

If partners agree on all divorce terms, the marriage dissolution process can take as little as 20 to 40 days after the documents are served.

Once Louisiana divorce papers are filed with the district court, the plaintiff (filing spouse) is required to notify the other party that legal action has been taken against them. It can be done in several ways, such as:

  • The divorce paperwork can be delivered personally to the defendant.
  • The filing spouse can deliver documents with the help of certified mail.
  • Spouses facing any ongoing disputes can go through this step with the help of the sheriff's deputy.

If spouses have a divorce settlement agreement, the judge will review and approve it unless they believe it's fundamentally unfair to one party. Then, a court will issue a divorce decree that provides details of the rights and responsibilities of each party.

Getting a Divorce With Children

Louisiana law may require spouses with children to submit additional forms to address child-related issues. These documents are:

  • Parenting Plan
  • Child Support Worksheet
  • Parenting Class Completion Certificate

When it comes to child custody, Louisiana courts prefer to grant joint custody to both parents. Joint custody means that both parents can make decisions regarding the child's development, even though the child does not spend an equal amount of time with each parent. However, there are cases when sole custody is granted to one of the spouses. For example, a vast amount of attention is usually dedicated to the history of abuse and physical violence in the family. If one of the spouses manages to prove that their partner poses a danger of any type to their child, the court will consider the option of a sole custody in the first place. Besides, local judges need to determine whether parents have a history of substance abuse or other addictions before awarding custody. If at least one parent uses pain meds, alcohol, and other legal substances the wrong way, the court will most likely take into account sole legal and sole physical custody.

In general, the judge is likely to consider the following factors to decide on the type of custody appropriate for a certain case:

  • the child's age and preferences
  • the child's relationships with each parent and other family members
  • each parent's financial stability
  • each parent's physical and mental health
  • the child's background, including their home, school, and the stability of these environments
  • the physical, emotional, mental, social, and religious needs of the child

In the context of child support, both parents are required to support their children financially in Louisiana. However, the exact amount of financial support each spouse should provide depends on various factors, including the number of children involved, the income of both parents, and the parents' custody arrangement. Apart from this, Louisiana's Department of Children and Family Services website offers an online child support calculator to help parents estimate child support obligations.

Filing for Divorce in Louisiana Without a Lawyer

Considering that an uncontested divorce does not require the involvement of qualified attorneys, residents of Louisiana often use the do-it-yourself solution. At the same time, even if the spouses cannot resolve all the divorce-related issues independently, they are not obliged to hire a full-scope divorce lawyer if they are willing to cooperate. Instead, they may resort to divorce mediation and work on their Settlement Agreement with the help of a neutral mediator. Mediation offers a peaceful and affordable way to prepare for an uncontested divorce.

Do-It-Yourself Divorce in Louisiana

According to Louisiana law, the DIY divorce is a completely legit way to end a marriage in the state. This procedure refers to preparing divorce paperwork without the legal advice of a family divorce lawyer. In contrast to traditional marriage dissolution, this option helps significantly save money and time.

At the same time, to complete divorce papers free of errors, the filing spouse should have a solid legal background. To make sure all documents are filled out accurately, residents of Louisiana can use online divorce services offered by platforms, such as DivorceOnline. After downloading a full set of divorce forms, our clients can file them with the local court independently, following our filing instructions.


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Frequently Asked Questions:

Uncontested Louisiana divorce typically takes 1-2 months, whereas contested cases can take a year or more due to a variety of divorce-related issues that should be addressed in open court.

In addition to a filing fee, which ranges from $250 to $400 in the state, divorcing spouses usually spend money on attorney's services ($150-$300/hour) or services offered by online divorce companies, such as DivorceOnline ($139 for the whole set of appropriate documents). So, the total price of an uncontested divorce differs from case to case.

If payment of filing fees is a considerable financial hardship for the couple, they can ask the court clerk for a fee waiver form. If partners manage to provide proof in support of this difficulty, the judge will review this document and waive the payment.

Each divorce case is unique and requires different documents to be submitted, although the basic list of Louisiana divorce papers includes:

  • The Petition for Divorce
  • Summons
  • The Verification
  • Parenting Plan
  • Child Support Worksheet
  • Parenting Class Completion Certificate
  • Acceptance of Service
  • Marital Settlement Agreement
  • Financial Affidavit
  • Judgment for Divorce

If at least one of the divorce documents needed for a certain case is not submitted or is submitted with errors, the whole divorce case can be dismissed. Therefore, it is essential to check if completed papers correspond to local laws and requirements in advance.