Louisiana Uncontested Divorce

This information is an overview of the uncontested Louisiana divorce filing process and a summary of the divorce papers that are typically filed with the family law or domestic relations clerk. This overview is not intended to be an exact step-by-step guide for those "do it yourself divorce" filers, due to the fact that many cases are unique and the overview presented here is often not the only method of obtaining an uncontested divorce in Louisiana.

To file for a divorce in Louisiana, the filing spouse must have lived there 12 months prior to starting the action, which must be filed in the parish of the Respondent/Defendant, put in writing, and recorded with the Recorder.

Grounds for divorce are No-Fault, which means that the filing spouse wants to end the marriage. Marital breakdown, fault, separation or any other basis for divorce common in other jurisdictions need not be shown. After the filing, if the couple live separate and apart, the divorce can be granted in 180 days, when there are no children involved, and as of January 1, 2007, one year for marriages with children.

General grounds in the case of covenant marriage are 1) living separate and apart for two years or more after the date of the filing, 2) that the other spouse has committed adultery; 3) that he or she has committed a felony been sentenced to death or imprisonment; 4) physical or sexual abuse; 5) abandonment for a year or more.

Actions are filed in the District Court of the Parish. The filing spouse is called the Petitioner/Plaintiff; the responding spouse is called the Respondent/Defendant.

Most divorces in Louisiana are 102 or 103 No-Fault uncontested actions (so named for the section of the Louisiana Civil Code), which are both very simplified.

Under a 102 action, six months after the action is filed, and the Respondent served, the filing spouse files a motion asking that the divorce be made final. A hearing is held, at which it is proven that the spouses lived "separate and apart" for 180 days since the service of the petition. The 103 action is similar, but the 103 permits a couple to filed for divorce when they have already lived separate and apart for 180 days.