You have made the difficult decision to file for divorce. Although the upcoming proceedings will cause stress and an upheaval of emotions, you know this choice is what is best for you and your family.
The divorce process is simple enough to understand. But it will take time and patience. Below is a portion of the procedure for getting a divorce in Louisiana. You must meet the state’s residency requirements. At least one spouse must be a resident of the state for at least a year before filing.
There are two types of divorce petitions. You must decide which pertains to your situation.
- Article 102 divorce
You may be able to use this petition if you and your spouse have not yet separated. If you do not have minor children, you must live separately for at least 180 days. If you have minor children, you must separate for at least 365 days.
- Article 103 divorce
This type may not take as much time. You and your spouse will have already separated for the time specific for your case – 180 or 365 days – before you file the Petition for Divorce. This process may take less time to finalize.
If you live in Lafayette Parish, you can file your original petition in the 15th Judicial District Court. You can make at least two other copies for yourself and have the clerk stamp these along with the originals. You will more than likely pay a filing fee.
Service or Waiver
In this step, you must give your spouse notice of the divorce. You have two options:
- You may have the Sheriff’s office serve your spouse with a copy of the Petition for Divorce.
- You may get your spouse to sign a waiver of service. This may be the less expensive route because you may not have to pay for service.
The waiting period for an Article 102 petition must begin after the filing. The petition, filing and service or waiver are the first steps for starting the divorce process. You may find it helpful to speak with a divorce attorney about your case.