Steve Roberts Attorney at Law

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Divorce

Grounds for Divorce
Time Period to Get a Divorce

Grounds for Divorce

Louisiana is a state wherein a divorce can be obtained under "no fault" circumstances. And, there are still a very limited set of circumstances that will allow a person to obtain a "fault" divorce such as adultery.

Only after consulting with an attorney who is well versed in family law can a client make an informed decision as to which type of divorce to obtain, and to analyze what the benefits and disadvantages associated with any certain type of divorce in the client's particular case.


Time Period to Get a No Fault Divorce

In Louisiana, no fault divorces can be obtained two ways depending on which statute you proceed under, and require the passing of 180 days or 6 months separate and apart (believe it or not, those are two different time periods). There is no more "legal separation" in Louisiana. The parties simply remain separate and apart for the requisite period, without any court order, and then file for divorce.

Filing for Divorce After Separation
If in fact the parties have already been separate and apart, and have not reconciled, for a period of more than 6 months, then either of the parties may file a petition for a divorce and ask that the Court grant a divorce. If they have truly been separate and apart, the other party cannot stop the party who wants to obtain a divorce. Often clients question whether or not they can do anything to "stop a divorce" and they cannot. The only defense that can stop a divorce based on living separate and apart for 6 months is a claim that the parties at some certain moment reconciled so that the 6 month period has not passed yet. In other words, if you can stay away from the other person and do not reconcile for 6 months you are entitled to a divorce.

Filing For Divorce Before Separation
The other way to obtain a divorce through no fault proceedings is to file pleadings and alert the Court to the fact that you intend to live separate and apart for 180 days from the service of your petition for divorce on the other spouse and that you intend to file pleadings after the 180 days pass and ask the Court to grant your divorce.

How to Decide When to File
Accordingly, choosing between the two different types of no fault divorces usually requires making a decision as to whether or you have already spent so much time separate and apart that you would rather wait until the 6 months pass and not have to "start over" and wait another 180 days after serving the other party with a lawsuit.

Either way, both no fault divorce statutes envision the parties remaining separate and apart for 6 months or 180 days in order to obtain a divorce. The paperwork and time required to set Court hearings will add additional time to those time periods as indicated. Also, the type of divorce will effect the actual date that your community property termination and the timing of your ability to ask for child support, alimony, restraining orders and other ancillary relief you may need.

It is in your best interest to see a lawyer to make certain your rights are protected during divorce.

Fault divorces require a trial and are beyond the scope of discussions here. Make an appointment to come in to discuss fault divorces.


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