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Louisiana Divorce Details

Ready to divorce and want to do it yourself? Choose DivorceWriter to create your own divorce papers designed for use in the state of Louisiana and save hundreds of dollars representing yourself. Your purchase includes everything you need to complete an uncontested divorce in Louisiana including easy-to-follow instructions to guide through the entire process--start to finish.

Louisiana Residency Requirements

The spouse who files for divorce (the Plaintiff) must be a resident of Louisiana for at least 12 months before filing.

Where to File Your Divorce Papers

Divorces are filed in District Court in the parish where either spouse lives or in the parish where the spouses last lived together as husband and wife.

Grounds: Understanding the Difference between Article 102 and Article 103 Divorce

People often get confused about which no-fault divorce grounds (Article 102 or Article 103) is right for them, but it's really quite simple. One way or the other, you and your spouse must live separate and apart continuously for 180 days (365 days if you have minor children together) before you can get a no-fault divorce in Louisiana, and you've either met that separation requirement at the time you file for divorce or you haven't. If you have, you'll file an Article 103 divorce. If you haven't, you will file an Article 102 divorce.

When you use DivorceWriter to create your Louisiana divorce paperwork, you can access both sets of forms. This is especially helpful since not everyone files for divorce as soon as they receive their paperwork. Sometimes, our Louisiana customers select Article 102 paperwork because they aren't separated yet or have only been separated a short time, but then they don't end up deciding to file for divorce for several months or sometimes more than a year and now they qualify for Article 103 divorce.

The reverse also happens. Sometimes, the customer had been separated for more than a year and initially selected Article 103 paperwork, but then the couple reconciled and now has just split up again and need Article 102 paperwork. When this happens, all you have to do is log in to your DivorceWriter online interview and change your divorce type selection, and you'll be able to receive new paperwork right away.

It's Often a Matter of Timing

If you and your spouse have already been living apart for a few months, you should probably wait and file for a 103 divorce so that you can use that already accrued separation time toward the 180-day/365-day separation requirement since you'll lose it all if you file for 102 divorce. That being said, some people feel a great sense of relief when they get the paperwork filed, in which case they would rather lose that already accrued separation period and start from the beginning by filing a 102 divorce. Also keep in mind that an existing separation time of only a month or two really isn't going to speed things up that much, and under those circumstances you should probably just file for 102 divorce.

The Procedural Differences between Article 102 and Article 103 Divorce

Article 102 Divorce

The steps for divorcing in Louisiana when you don't meet the separation requirement are:

  1. File for divorce.
  2. Have your spouse sign a Waiver of Service after you mail or hand-deliver the divorce papers.
  3. Live at different residences without reconciliation for 180 days (365 days if you have minor children together) from the date your spouse signed the Waiver of Service.
  4. File a Rule to Show Cause/Rule for Final Divorce to get the divorce finalized.

Article 103 Divorce

The steps for divorcing in Louisiana when you do meet the separation requirement are:

  1. File for divorce after you have lived at different residences without reconciliation for at least 180 days (365 days if you have minor children together).
  2. Have your spouse sign a Waiver of Service after you mail or hand-deliver the divorce papers.
  3. Wait 15 days (30 days if your spouse lives out of state) and then file default paperwork to get the divorce finalized.

Divorce Filing Fee

The District Court Clerk's office in each parish charges a one-time filing fee to start a new divorce case. However, if you are experiencing financial difficulties and are unable to pay the filing fee, file an In Forma Pauperis Affidavit. DivorceWriter provides this form free of charge upon request as part of your DivorceWriter purchase.

The DivorceWriter Guarantee

If you documents are not accepted by the District Court in the parish where you file your divorce, DivorceWriter offers a money-back guarantee.

A Note about Covenant Marriage

The most important thing to remember about covenant marriage is that you would know if you have one. Covenant marriages are very rare, making up only about 1-2% of all Louisiana marriages, and they require both a religious ceremony special paperwork to create the covenant. The grounds for divorce in a covenant marriage are as follows:

  1. The spouses have been living separate and apart continuously without reconciliation for a period of two (2) years.
  2. You have had a court-ordered judgment of legal separation (aka separation from bed and board) for a least 12 months (18 months with minor children). (Note: The separation has to be continuous through that period unless domestic violence is involved.)
  3. One spouse has been sentenced to death or imprisonment at hard labor.
  4. One spouse has physically or sexually abused the other spouse or the child of either party.
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