In order to file for divorce, the filing spouse must have lived in the state of Louisiana for at least a year, and the divorce can be filed in either the District Court of the Plaintiff's Parish or in their spouse's (called the Defendant). Additionally, the couple must have been separated for at least 180 days before they may file for divorce.
Fill out your Forms
If all the requirements are met, one spouse, called the Petitioner or the Plaintiff, must file a Petition for Divorce. After filing the initial forms the Plaintiff may then serve a copy of the Petition on the Defendant. In the state of Louisiana the Defendant need not answer. The Plaintiff, after sending the Defendant the Petition, can file a motion called the "Rule to Show Cause". However, each Louisiana court has different and individual rules pertaining to divorce. Before filling out forms and expecting to get a divorce, visit the Clerk of Court in your Parish to make sure you have followed their necessary procedures.
If all the necessary forms have been completed, and the Rule to Show Cause is filed, then a hearing is held. During this hearing it must be proven that the couple was living separately for 180 days prior to the filing of their divorce petition.
A Note about Parent Mediation
If a couple has children the court might ask the couple to go to mediation to assure that the parents split amicably and in the best interest of the child. In some Parishes, mediation may be required when children are involved.
A Note about Forms
If the parties have reached an agreement and they do not desire to proceed with a lengthy trial they can use RocketLawyer's easy interview process to complete a Divorce Settlement Agreement. The Divorce Settlement Agreement facilitates the division of property, assets, debts and liabilities as well as settles matters of child support, custody and visitation.
Unfortunately the forms necessary for a divorce in the state of Louisiana are not available online at this time. You should visit your Parish court house and obtain the forms there. However, if you need help with your divorce, you can Find a Lawyer who's right for you on RocketLawyer.com.
This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.