Divorce in Louisiana
Before filing for divorce in Louisiana—or even asking your spouse for a divorce—consider talking to a Louisiana divorce attorney. A lawyer can explain the legal requirements and guide you through the process.
Louisiana Divorce Basics
Louisiana Divorce Residency Requirement: Under Louisiana law, either you or your spouse must be a Louisiana resident for at least a year before you may file for divorce in the state.
Louisiana Grounds for Divorce: There are three valid grounds, or reasons, for obtaining a Louisiana divorce: You and your spouse are living separate and apart, your spouse committed adultery, or your spouse has been found guilty of a felony and sentenced to prison.
Louisiana Divorce Waiting Period: If you are living separate and apart, you must be separated for 180 day (if you have no minor children) or 365 days (if you have minor children) before you will be granted a divorce. There is no waiting period to divorce if your spouse has been convicted of a felony or committed adultery.
Louisiana Property Division: Louisiana is a community property state, meaning that anything that is jointly owned by the couple or acquired during the marriage must be split in half. This would include wages and other assets. Separate property, such as items acquired prior to the marriage as well as any inherited property, is not included in the division of assets.
Louisiana Spousal Support: As part of your divorce, you may be entitled to alimony, also known as spousal support. According to the Louisiana State Bar Association, "There are two types of spousal support in Louisiana: interim spousal support and final periodic spousal support. Interim spousal support may be awarded to a spouse who does not have sufficient income for his/her maintenance pending the divorce...Final spousal support may be awarded to an ex-spouse who has been found to be free from fault in the breakup of the marriage. It can be awarded after a determination that the spouse requesting the support has a need and the other spouse has the means to provide for that need."
Louisiana Child Custody: If you and your spouse have minor children, you'll have to reach a child custody agreement as part of your divorce. Custody may be joint—meaning it's shared by both parents—or sole. If one parent is awarded sole custody, the other parent is normally awarded visitation.
Louisiana Child Support: Both Louisiana parents are expected to contribute to the cost of raising a child. In determining child support, the court will look at a number of factors including each parent's income, how many children each parent is supporting, and the child's month-to-month expenses.
Reasons to Hire a Louisiana Divorce Attorney
Legally you are not required to use a lawyer to handle your Louisiana divorce, but it is strongly recommended. There are a few reasons to consider hiring Louisiana divorce lawyers:
- Level playing field: If your spouse hires a divorce attorney and you don't, you're putting yourself at a legal disadvantage.
- Legal expertise: Louisiana divorce lawyers are knowledgeable about the state's divorce, child custody and child support laws, and your attorney will have represented countless clients just like you. That experience works to your advantage in a divorce.
- Peace of mind: If you're unfamiliar with the laws, it's easy to make mistakes. And when your marriage, your property and your children are involved, you can't afford to make any errors, because mistakes can be costly. When you hire a Louisiana family law attorney, you'll have the comfort of knowing that an expert is managing the details of your divorce.
Find & Hire Louisiana Divorce Lawyers
As soon as you consider the possibility of getting a divorce, you should hire a Louisiana divorce attorney. And Attorneys.com can help you find a divorce lawyer in your area.
Whether you live in Shreveport, Baton Rouge, New Orleans or elsewhere in Louisiana, our free service can quickly connect you with attorneys in your area. Call us now at 877-913-7222 or fill out the form on this page to get started.