Uncontested Divorce in Louisiana: An Overview
Getting divorced in Louisiana can be a complicated process, with several requirements that you need to meet and obstacles you need to overcome. However, one option that makes the process a lot easier is an uncontested divorce. In this article, we will outline what an uncontested divorce is, the benefits of choosing it, and the steps you need to take to file for an uncontested divorce in Louisiana.
What is an Uncontested Divorce?
An uncontested divorce occurs when both parties involved agree to the terms of the divorce and can come to an agreement without the need for a trial. In this scenario, the couple works together to create agreements that satisfy them, including matters such as property distribution, child custody, and support. Subsequently, then they submit the agreements and required paperwork to the court for review and approval.
Benefits of Choosing an Uncontested Divorce
1. Saves Time
Uncontested divorces typically take less time compared to contested divorces. Since there is no court trial, all parties involved avoid the need to attend court hearings, reducing time spent waiting for legal decisions.
2. Saves Money
Since there is no court trial, the cost of an uncontested divorce is significantly less, resulting in fewer legal fees.
3. Reduces Stress
An uncontested divorce provides a collaborative experience that allows both parties to work together to reach a mutually beneficial agreement without the emotionally and mentally draining experience of a contested divorce trial.
4. Gives Control
By going for an uncontested divorce, both parties have to come to an agreement first, allowing then to have more control over the process.
Filing For an Uncontested Divorce in Louisiana
Here are the primary steps that you need to take to file for an uncontested divorce in Louisiana:
1. Meet The Residency Requirements
One or both spouses must have lived in Louisiana for at least six months.
2. Construct An Agreement
Draft an agreement on matters such as property distribution, child custody and support, or spousal support.
3. Sign The Agreement
Both parties need to sign the agreement and it must be notarized.
4. File The Agreement
File the agreement and your divorce petition with the court clerk of the parish where you or your spouse reside.
5. Wait For Approval
Await for the court to review and approve the agreement.
6. Finalize the Divorce
After the court approves your agreement and documents, the divorce will be finalized.
Common Law marriage Louisiana is very unique, so it is important to verify how that affects your separation process.
In conclusion, filing for an uncontested divorce can save money, time, and emotional energy. It is a less complicated and more efficient approach to getting a divorce that requires both parties to come together. If seeking an uncontested divorce in Louisiana, it’s important to research, understand the process, ensure the agreements are legal and meet requirements so that the divorce process runs smoothly.
How to Get an Uncontested Divorce In Louisiana
An uncontested divorce in Louisiana is one in which both parties are in agreement concerning every term of their divorce.
If you disagree about how much joint property you should maintain, or what child support should be, then you can’t get an uncontested divorce in Louisiana and should realize that, unless some compromise is made, you’re headed for a trial.
Qualifications for an Uncontested Divorce In Louisiana
If you would like to file for an uncontested divorce in Louisiana, then one party must have maintained a residence in the state for at least 12 months prior to filing.
You must file in the Parish Civil Court of the district in which you or your spouse resides. It does not matter which parish.
Louisiana is also a No-Fault divorce state, so it is not as if only certain marital setbacks qualify your relationship as divorce-ready.
A simple marital breakdown can be cited as enough cause for an uncontested divorce in Louisiana.
The Petition for Divorce, CCP Art. 961
This is the first form that you will file to really get the ball rolling on your uncontested divorce in Louisiana.
You’ll need to put down personal identifying information about yourself and your spouse, state when the marriage began, and why it is currently breaking down.
At this time, you will have to also pay a filing fee to your Parish Court Clerk. This filing fee varies depending on the county, but in most of Louisiana, it is significantly more than three hundred dollars.
The Long Wait and the Next Step
After the initial filing of the Petition for Divorce, you will need to wait at least 180 days before further action can be taken.
That is because this is the court-mandated time that a couple must live separately before they can be considered for an uncontested divorce in Louisiana.
If yours is a marriage with children, then even more time needs to be taken, an entire year before the uncontested divorce in Louisiana can inch toward being put into law.
You will need to set a “Confirmation of Default” hearing date after the 180 day period has passed. At this hearing, the final steps for your divorce will be taken.
In a contested Louisiana divorce, this document is called a “Motion to Set for Trial,” so be sure to get the one relevant to your situation.
In preparation for the hearing, be sure to file the Rule to Show Cause CCP ART. 3952 which asks the court to issue you a final judgment regarding your uncontested divorce in Louisiana.
If you’re a couple with children, you will also need to file an Affidavit of Mover CCP Art. 3956.
Bring these forms and a copy of your Separation Agreement or, as it is sometimes called the Proposed Judgment, listing all the terms of the divorce such as the division of property, to the courthouse when your final hearing is scheduled.
Barring unforeseen complications, the judge will approve your proposed judgment in the official judgment and finalize the uncontested divorce in Louisiana.