The law offices of Allison & Allison handles family law matters such as divorce and custody determination in Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes.
Louisiana Divorce Basics
Louisiana Divorce Residency Requirement: Either you or your spouse must be a Louisiana resident for at least a year before you may file for divorce.
Louisiana Grounds for Divorce: There are four valid grounds, or reasons, for obtaining a Louisiana divorce: You and your spouse are living separate and apart, your spouse committed adultery, your spouse physically or sexually abused you or your child, or your spouse has been found guilty of a felony and sentenced to prison.
Louisiana Divorce Waiting Period: If you seeking a divorce on grounds of living separate and apart, you must be separated for 180 days if you have no minor children), or 365 days if you do.
Louisiana Property Division: Louisiana is a community property state. Anything that is jointly owned by the couple or acquired during the marriage must be split in half. Separate property is items acquired prior to the marriage as well as any inherited property and is not included in the division of assets.
Louisiana Spousal Support: As part of your divorce, you may be entitled to alimony, also known as spousal support. Interim spousal support may be awarded to a spouse who does not have sufficient income for his/her maintenance pending the divorce. Final spousal support may be awarded to an ex-spouse who has been found to be free from fault in the breakup of the marriage.
Louisiana Child Custody: If you and your spouse have minor children, you’ll have to reach a child custody agreement as part of your divorce. Custody may be joint—meaning it’s shared by both parents—or sole.
Louisiana Child Support: Both Louisiana parents are expected to contribute to the cost of raising a child. In determining child support, the court will look at a number of factors including each parent’s income, how many children each parent is supporting, and the child’s month-to-month expenses.
Reasons to Hire an Attorney
Legally you are not required to use a lawyer to handle your divorce, but it is strongly recommended. There are a few reasons to consider hiring a lawyer:
- Level playing field: If your spouse hires a divorce attorney and you don’t, you’re putting yourself at a legal disadvantage.
- Legal expertise: Louisiana divorce lawyers are knowledgeable about the state’s divorce, child custody and child support laws, and your attorney will have represented countless clients just like you.
- Peace of mind: If you’re unfamiliar with the laws, it’s easy to make mistakes. And when your marriage, your property and your children are involved, you can’t afford to make any errors, because mistakes can be costly.
Set up a meeting with an attorney who will discuss your situation with you one-on-one and help you come up with a plan of representation that suits you.