LOUISIANA

Divorce Attorney

Divorce leads to drastic life changes far greater than just the separation of two people.
It can be a separation of families and friends, children, possessions and property, and more. The path ahead of you may be hard to see.

But that’s why I’m here: to help you move forward with a plan for your family and your future.

*Consultations available in French and Spanish upon request

“Gregory Nichols was extremely helpful when I was going through a divorce in 2020. Over the course of nearly a year, when my ex kept prolonging things, Gregory was very patient and understanding. I also felt that he was very knowledgeable with every legal issue that arose, and that he could explain everything to me clearly and promptly.Greg was also a pleasure to work with on a personal level.”

Rik F.

“Gregory Nichols was extremely helpful when I was going through a divorce in 2020. Over the course of nearly a year, when my ex kept prolonging things, Gregory was very patient and understanding. I also felt that he was very knowledgeable with every legal issue that arose, and that he could explain everything to me clearly and promptly.Greg was also a pleasure to work with on a personal level.”

Rik F.

Divorce Requirements in Louisiana

Divorce is a solemn process, regardless of whether you’ve been taken by surprise or you’ve been planning to get divorced for years. Unfortunately, it can often be complicated, as well.

That’s why it helps to have a dedicated and experienced Louisiana divorce attorney to help you through the process, including any paperwork or hearings.

Luckily, in most cases, Louisiana makes the requirements fairly simple for couples who still live together but simply want a divorce:

  • Must live apart without reconciliation for at least 180 days if there are no children of the marriage
  • Must live apart without reconciliation for at least 365 days if there are children of the marriage

Couples who entered into covenant marriages, however, must first seek counseling and prove certain grounds for their divorce. But even in non-covenant marriages, including grounds for divorce may have certain advantages for collateral issues such as custody, alimony and splitting up property.

Grounds for divorce in Louisiana include:

  • Adultery, where the adultery has not been forgiven
  • Separation without reconciling for a period of time before the divorce is filed
  • Certain felony convictions
  • Abandonment for a year or more (for covenant marriages only)
  • Physical or sexual abuse of the spouse or children

Divorce Costs in Louisiana

Court fees in Louisiana vary widely from parish to parish, which can make it hard to estimate exactly how much your divorce will initially cost. While court costs are fixed, I am always willing to try and work with you to make your fees more affordable.

A contested divorce can end up costing thousands upon thousands of dollars if the couple cannot come to any agreements. But divorces can involve a lot of passionate emotion, and as the saying goes, it takes two to tango. Not everyone can be reasonable and come to an agreement on everything. If this sounds like your situation, consider ways to start a “war chest” that is separate from your common expenses; both to start the legal process, and to help get you started on your new life.

Even if you are lucky enough to come to agreement on an amicable divorce, there are pitfalls you may not anticipate. Speak with your experienced Louisiana divorce attorney for more information on what to look out for when crafting the terms of an uncontested divorce with your former partner.

Custody, Child Support & Alimony

There’s a common misconception that fathers are at an automatic disadvantage when it comes to the many facets of divorce, especially matters involving the children. While many judges will have their own biases, the truth is, the guiding principle in Louisiana law is the best interests of the children. In most cases, this means that courts will favor keeping both parents involved as much as possible in sharing their time with the children, and in making parenting decisions that affect the childrens’ future. I happen to share that belief, and I will always advise with you with that principle in mind.

If there are children, there will likely be child support. 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.

Sometimes the court will find it necessary to grant alimony, also known as spousal support, to one of the separating partners. This decision has nothing to do with whether the couple has children.

There are two types of alimony: interim, which may be granted during the pendency of the divorce, and permanent, which may be granted after the divorce is granted.

Some of the things the court may take into consideration in hearing a request for temporary or permanent alimony are:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The age and health of both spouses
  • The financial need of the spouse requesting support, and the other spouse’s ability to pay
  • Each spouse’s income and financial obligations
  • Each spouse’s ability to earn income based on education, job skills and history, employment opportunities, etc.

Property Partitions

One of the biggest questions couples often have when considering a divorce is what will happen to all their property and joint assets. These type of assets may include:

  • Vehicles
  • Homes
  • Boats
  • Furniture
  • Jewelry
  • Art
  • Cash balances
  • Stocks, bonds and other investments
  • Retirement accounts
  • Businesses
  • Vehicles
  • Homes
  • Boats
  • Furniture
  • Jewelry
  • Art
  • Cash balances
  • Stocks, bonds and other investments
  • Retirement accounts
  • Businesses

Louisiana is a community property state. It is important to remember that “property,” in this sense, means your assets and your debts.

You can elect to not have a marital community of assets and debts before you marry, or during your marriage with court approval. This is what is commonly (but not legally) known as a “pre-nup.”

When you file for divorce, the marital community will end, and after the divorce is granted, you will want to consider splitting up (or partitioning) the assets and debts of the former community. Even if you don’t think you have anything to split up, you should speak with your lawyer about factors you haven’t considered; like possible debts your spouse incurred while you were married but never told you about.

Generally, the only requirement is the split of property be equitable. If the couple does not come to an agreement on their own, the court will account for all the assets, debts and reimbursements due, and split the former community evenly. Of course, splitting up the property through a trial will be much more costly to the parties than a simple agreement.

Get in touch with a Louisiana divorce lawyer today

After practicing law for more than 25 years, I’ve seen all kinds of divorces — messy and complicated, quick and calm, and everything in between. I always try to gauge at the outset what type of divorce it will be, with varying degrees of success. But what I am best at is meeting the challenges with my client and getting him or her the best possible result they can get. Contact my office today to schedule your free virtual or live initial consultation, so we can start working together right away.

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