How to File Your Own Divorce Papers in Louisiana

By Beverly Bird

Filing for divorce in Louisiana can be simple or complicated, depending on whether you know the whereabouts of your spouse. If you don't, you'll have to take extra steps. Otherwise, the procedure is relatively straightforward.

Step 1

Gather proof that you've met Louisiana's residency requirements for divorce. You must live in the state on the date you file and have lived there for the year leading up to that date. Louisiana is a pure no-fault state. It doesn't recognize any fault grounds at all, so your spouse can't contest your divorce on the basis of the grounds you use. However, he can allege that you haven't met the residency requirement to file so you might need proof, especially if you recently moved into the state.

Step 2

Determine what forms you'll need. Louisiana has three petitions for divorce: one for uncontested matters, one for contested divorces with children, and one for contested divorces without children. If you and your spouse own property, have debts and/or have children together, you'll also need an income-expense affidavit. Additionally, you'll need a child support worksheet if you have children. Louisiana has two types: one for parents who share custody and the other for parents who do not.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Step 3

Download the forms you've determined you need. Some Louisiana parishes offer these divorce forms on their websites. You can also get them from an online legal document provider, but make sure they're specific to Louisiana.

Step 4

Complete the forms and take them to the judicial district court in the parish where either you or your spouse lives. You'll need at least one additional copy. The clerk will accept your original documents for filing and stamp your copies as received. You'll need the copies for your own records and for service of process on your spouse.

Step 5

Arrange to serve your spouse with a copy of your petition. If your divorce is contested, ask your parish sheriff to hand-deliver the papers to your spouse. The sheriff will file proof with the court when he's done so. You can also use a private process server, but you'll need permission from the court in Louisiana. If your divorce is amicable and uncontested, you can give the papers to your spouse yourself. Ask your spouse to sign a waiver of service, a form you can get from the court, and file the waiver just as you filed your petition.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Who Pays When Filing for Divorce in Texas?

References

Related articles

How to Separate in a Marriage

Divorce isn't for everyone--at least not immediately. For any number of reasons, spouses might want to live separately for a while before taking the final step to officially terminate their marriage. Depending on where you live, there may be more than one way to do this. Some states recognize legal separations, but a few don't, including Texas, Delaware, Florida, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Mississippi and Louisiana. This doesn't mean you can't separate if you live in one of these states. It just means courts in these states will not issue a judgment of separation, so you'll have to create a separation agreement instead.

How to File for Divorce in Maryland

The most difficult aspect of filing for divorce in Maryland is getting your grounds and residency requirements straight. The laws regarding both overlap a bit. Once you determine them, however, the rest of the filing process is relatively straightforward.

How to File a Simple Divorce in Florida

Florida is one of a few states that allows you to bypass an expensive, time-consuming divorce process if you and your spouse meet certain criteria. Most important, you must have an agreement between you as to how you’re going to divide your property and debts; you cannot have any children and both you and your spouse must waive alimony and your right to appeal any part of your divorce agreement. If you meet these requirements, you can file a Petition for Simplified Dissolution of Marriage and be divorced, usually in less than a month.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

How to File for Common Law Divorce in Texas

Texas is one of only a few states that recognize common law marriage, a union entered into without a ceremony or ...

How to File For a Non-Contested, No Children Divorce in Alabama

Non-contested divorce, commonly referred to as an uncontested divorce, does not depend on whether you have children. ...

How to Write a Divorce Complaint in Tennessee

The process of filing for divorce in Tennessee begins when you file a divorce complaint, also known as a petition for ...

How to File for Divorce in Kansas City, Missouri

Five counties are included in the 319 square miles that make up metropolitan Kansas City, Missouri. State laws govern ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED