Contested divorce versus Uncontested Divorce. Contested divorce is where both parties are unable to come to some agreement on one or more major issues to end the marriage.
In this case, they often have to go to a court for resolving and examining the issues at hand. Aside from the added stress, this can be time-consuming and money-draining.
In the case that compromise and willingness to work together are evident, then uncontested divorce might be the way to go. In uncontested divorce, “both spouses agree on all the key terms of the divorce”, including topics from child custody to tax exemptions to dividing assets to alimony, and many places in between.
Now that we’ve talked a little bit about the meaning of uncontested divorce, we can explain Louisiana’s rules. According to Amy Castillo of Divorce Net, “Louisiana has some procedural rules in its civil code which have the effect of speeding up uncontested divorces”.
In Louisiana, for the spouse that starts the divorce, the court will grant the divorce if:
- The person files a petition for divorce and proves that 180 days (if no underage children) or 365 days (if there are underaged children) have passed since the other spouse was served the petition. The spouses must have been living separately during this entire process.
- The person files a petition for divorce and proves that they have been living apart for 180 or 365 days. There must be proof that the spouses were separated before this petition was filed.
Other state requirements for obtaining a divorce in Louisiana:
- The person must be living in the state for a minimum of one year before the divorce process begins/
- The court must receive legal grounds for divorce. The rule, as stated above, says that at least 180 days must pass if you don’t have kids together, or 365 days if you do have kids together, for being separated and living apart.
- The only exception to all of this is having a “covenant marriage”, which instead involves counseling and supplying fault-based grounds for why the marriage failed. Louisiana is one of three states that allows for this type of marriage, which involves pre-marital counseling. It also limits the grounds for divorce for the spouses.
The uncontested divorce process is three basic steps: finding the correct court, completing the divorce forms, and filing/serving the paperwork.
It’s important to have a caring, compassionate, and knowledgeable attorney to guide you along the way. At Southern Oaks, Lafayette family law attorney Taylor Fontenot believes his role is to protect your rights and interests while simultaneously working with everyone involved in order to minimize collateral damage and resolve disputes timely and efficiently. Give us a call today and relax knowing we’re here to help.