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What are the types of divorce in Louisiana?

Louisiana does not require grounds for divorce.  While “no fault” divorces are not really a thing under the civil law, divorces can either be for “cause” that entitles you more or less to an immediate divorce, and divorce where no cause is specified, which requires a certain waiting period between when the divorce is filed and when it is granted.  

Sometimes, both spouses want to get divorced, and agree to make it as simple as possible.  Those divorces rarely require court appearances or testimony, and can be as simple as signing paperwork in your lawyer’s office.

How long does it take to get divorced in Louisiana?

It depends.  A divorce for cause where both spouses want the divorce can take less than a week from beginning to end.  If there is no agreement, but a spouse has cause, it may be a few weeks.  

If no cause is specified, the law requires a waiting period between the commencement of the divorce and the time you can request your judgment.  That waiting period is either 180 days if there are no children of the marriage, and 365 days if there are.

If you have a covenant marriage, it becomes more complicated.  Be sure to speak to your qualified divorce lawyer to learn what you must do.

How much will my divorce cost?

Court fees in Louisiana vary from parish to parish, which can make it hard to estimate exactly how much your divorce will cost. A contested divorce can end up costing thousands of dollars if the couple cannot come to any agreements. Not surprisingly, these messy, contested divorces cost more money and require more time than ones where the couple works out an agreement outside of court.

How are child support and custody decided in Louisiana?

 Child support is fixed by a formula based on the combined gross income of the parties, the number of children, and the type of custody awarded.  It may include additional amounts for extraordinary expenses, such as extracurricular activities or special medical needs, based on the same formula.  If the parties agree on an amount of child support, the court will almost always honor that agreement regardless of what the formula provides.

Louisiana’s civil law tradition dictates that the guiding principle for all custody decisions is what is in the best interest of the child. In most cases, this means that courts will do their best to keep both parents as involved as possible in their childrens’ upbringing.  When going to court to set custody, it is important to have in mind how you can best coordinate with your former partner to keep being the best parent you can to your child, even though you are no longer living together, and especially if you no longer get along!

Why do I need an estate plan?

An estate plan allows you to guide the management of your property, both at the end of your life and after you die.  It acts as a safety net and helps ensure the legacy you envisioned is carried out.

What’s the difference between a will and estate planning?

An estate plan is made up of many different documents and parts, and a will is just one of those many parts. A will can be a simple document that lists your wishes regarding the distribution of property or care of minor children, but an estate plan covers much more than that — outlining everything from distribution of assets to your legacy on a larger scale.

“Nimble-minded in court, a careful listener in consultation, Greg was able to solve my problems while being mindful of the stress and nuance of the difficult situation.”

Scott O.

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