Louisiana Divorce Steps

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It is important to have a detailed legal information before the actual filing for a divorce. A divorce is a difficult procedure and can have bad consequences if not handled properly. Here is a brief account on Louisiana divorce steps which may help residents of this state during the actual termination of their marriage.

If we consider a divorce case that fulfills the following points then such procedure will be an uncontested one:

  • Both the divorcing partners have acceded divorce
  • Both the divorcing partners agree with one another regarding all terms of the divorce
  • Neither partner wishes a court room conflict

In such a case, the divorcing partners can file their own divorce pro Se. (that is by self without the services of an attorney)

Louisiana Divorce Steps prior to filing the Petition

The divorce cases in the territory of the state are handled by respective county courts. These county courts have their specific requirements for compulsory residence. The state of Louisiana is divided into parishes which have separate courts for handling legal matters. An applicant can file for a divorce in which either of the party resides. The residency requirement of the state of Louisiana is six months which needs to be followed strictly. Following are some points regarding a mutual settlement of separation:

  • As the partners agree with each other regarding how to divide their property, they must draft a "Property Agreement" comprising of all points of distribution
  • If the divorcing partners have only personal property, they must make it a point to include the following sentence in the petition - "both parties are in possession with their respective personal property"
  • The divorcing partners must remember that only due to the reason that both are about to get divorced, the mortgage companies would not relieve them from the loan obligations

Initial Louisiana Divorce Steps:

  • The Plaintiff must complete the following information in the Petition:
    • Complete names and ages of the Plaintiff and the Defendant
    • Date and location of marriage
    • Date of separation and a statement that the couple has not lived together or reconciled for a duration exceeding 6 months
    • A declaration stating that the attached property agreement is how both intend to divide their property
    • A declaration stating that both desire a divorce

  • The Plaintiff can avoid service and save the charges of service by performing the following:
    • Making a request that the court should hold service
    • Issuing a statement that the Defendant is willing to sign an Affidavit of Consent

  • Apart from the Petition, the following documents must be filed. The Plaintiff might take the assistance of a Louisiana Civil Law Notary to complete these
    • Consent Form: The Defendant signs this affidavit to prove to the court the following
      • The Defendant consents to the divorce
      • The Defendant waives the right to a trial
    • Judgment: The Judge signs this document for grant of the divorce

  • The Plaintiff must sign the completed Petition in front of the Notary. three original copies must be made and all of these must be filed and stamped (First is essential for the Plaintiff, second for the Defendant and third for the court)

  • The Petitioner must file the Petition, the Judgment and the Consent Form to the court clerk and disburse the filing fee. The court clerk stamps and certifies the documents and offers a case number

Louisiana Divorce Steps after filing a petition

  • The Plaintiff, the Defendant and the Notary Public must meet together. The Plaintiff must offer a certified copy of the Petition to the Defendant. The Defendant then signs the Consent Form. The Notary then notarizes this form.

  • The Plaintiff files the notarized consent form with the court clerk. The filing fee of this form is included in the original fee

  • The court clerk sets the case for a hearing. The court clerk might immediately allocate a date for hearing or mail the date to the divorcing partners

  • On the hearing date, the Plaintiff must remain present in the court and perform the following:
    • Testify in open court that he or she has filed the documents
    • Testify that the claims made in the documents are true
    • Provide true answers to the questions asked by the Judge
    • Disclose the details regarding property if asked to do so

  • If the Judge accedes to the divorce, the Judge signs the Judgment form

  • The court mails a copy of the divorce judgment to the Defendant that is respondent

In this manner, divorce steps in Louisiana can be explained.

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