When couples get married, they go into the relationship assuming it will last forever. Over time though, they may realize that they are no longer compatible with one another, or they can no longer continue living together. As a result, they seek a divorce from one another. Though the decision to actually get a divorce from one's spouse may have been one taken over a number of months, once the decision is made, people often want their divorce to be finalized quickly, so they can move on with their lives. In addition to having certain grounds for a divorce in Louisiana, there are also certain procedural residency and separation time periods that must be completed.
First, who can file for a divorce in Louisiana? In order to actually file for a regular divorce in the state, the person must have been a resident of the state for at least one year. Even if they are living outside of the state, but maintained their residency, they are eligible to file there. The actual papers should be filed in the parish where they either reside or where they last lived together.
Secondly, there is a separation requirement. This means, before a judgment is given, there are certain time periods that the couple must have lived apart. Where there are no minor children or the court has found that one spouse has physically abused the other or the children, or where a protective order or injunction has been issued to protect the spouse seeking divorce from abuse, the separation period shall be 180 days. Where there are minor children involved, and any of the above situations exist, the time period of separation shall be 365 days.
The end of a marriage is an emotionally difficult time for everyone involved and the sooner the process ends, the quicker parties can begin to move on. But, having the divorce drag on because procedural requirements were not met can end up being a waste of time. To ensure the necessary legalities are completed, it might be beneficial to consult an experienced attorney.