For many people, going through a divorce is an extremely frightening and stressful time in their lives, and if you are currently worried about an impending divorce, the time to speak with an experienced Monroe divorce lawyer is now. Our legal team is dedicated to tirelessly fighting on behalf of our clients, and we are prepared to put our knowledge, experience, and diligence to work for you. Our firm serves clients in Monroe and throughout the state of Louisiana. Contact Breithaupt, DuBos & Wolleson today to learn more about how we can guide you through every step of the divorce process ahead.
Divorce Lawyer | Here to Help Clients in Monroe & all of Louisiana through the Process
The outcome of your divorce will most likely affect the lives of you, your child, and your former spouse for years to come, which is why it is so important that you retain the services of a knowledgeable Monroe, Louisiana family law attorney who will fight for the best possible outcome on your behalf.
Residency Requirements for Divorce in Louisiana
To get divorced in the state of Louisiana, you must be a resident of the state for at least one year, and you’ll have to file your Petition for Divorce in the parish in which either spouse resides or where you, as a couple, last lived together. You must also have lived separately for at least 180 days if you don’t have children–if you do have children, you must have lived separately for at least one year.
That said, you should note that Louisiana is one of three states that recognize “covenant marriage.” If you are in a covenant marriage, it means that you will have to seek marital counseling prior to getting a divorce, which you would have agreed upon before you got married.
Choosing a No-Fault Divorce Vs. a Fault-Based Divorce
In the state of Louisiana, couples do not have to cite specific fault grounds (as long as they are in a standard marriage and not a covenant marriage), such as adultery, in order to get divorced. Instead, you can simply cite living separate and apart as your reason for wanting a divorce. In most cases, this is the best option, as it is often a lower-conflict alternative to fault-based divorce.
If you choose to cite fault grounds and are in a non-covenant marriage, you may cite either adultery or a felony conviction as your ground for divorce. Once you cite a fault ground, you will have to prove that your spouse is guilty of the accusation. Your spouse is free to deny the allegations made against him or her, which, very often, leads to a prolonged and more hostile divorce process. You should note, however, that if you are a victim of sexual or physical abuse, or your spouse committed adultery, citing and proving these fault grounds may sway the court to make a custody or spousal support determination in your favor. Before choosing whether to cite fault grounds or not, it’s always best to first consult with a competent divorce lawyer who can help determine the best path forward.
That said, if you’re in a covenant marriage, you’ll have to cite fault grounds, which can include adultery, abandonment for one or more years, a felony conviction, physical or sexual abuse, living separated for at least two years, or living separately for one year from the date a legal separation was signed.
Uncontested Vs. Contested Divorces in Louisiana
If you and your spouse can agree on all divorce-related terms, including child custody, child support, spousal support (alimony), and property distribution, you may reach a settlement outside of court, which is typically the fastest and easiest option. However, if you cannot agree on all terms of your divorce, you’re in what’s known as a “contested divorce.” In a contested divorce, a judge will listen to both you and your spouse’s arguments, and, from there, will decide on any unresolved divorce terms. Rather obviously, at this stage, it is of paramount importance that you have a skilled attorney in your corner who can fight for the best possible outcome on your behalf.
Contact a Monroe Divorce Lawyer Today
We understand how stressful the divorce process can be, which is why our compassionate team of attorneys is ready to help you in any way we can. We understand the significant implications that a divorce can have, and we will do everything in our power to fight for your future. Contact Breithaupt, DuBos & Wolleson today to schedule your initial consultation with our firm.