The decision to terminate a marriage is always difficult. To reach this conclusion, the parties involved may have engaged in several conversations and situations that led them to that point.
A major concern of those going through a divorce is how long they take, but the answer to that question depends on how complex the case is.
In some circumstances, both parties agree to proceed with the process; however, in others, they may require the assistance of an expert attorney to reach a mutual understanding. This factor is important to consider, as it directly affects the duration of the process.
Our staff at Ellen Cronin Badeaux is aware of the difficulty of this process and the importance of having professional legal counsel. This article’s objective is to address the most frequently asked questions regarding the divorce procedure in Louisiana and the expected timeframe.
Why Do Divorces Take So Long?
In Louisiana, simple divorces where both parties agree to the divorce terms can be relatively speedy. This is because most of the paperwork is signed by both parties and filed with the court.
Divorces involving contested major issues such as child custody, spousal support, or property distribution can take considerably longer. In this case, the court must gather evidence and hear testimony from both sides before deciding.
Lawyers and the court take at least a couple of months for this because they need to conduct a thorough process to ensure that the outcome is fair for both parties.
It is also important to note that divorces can take longer if the parties involved do not cooperate or if they cannot agree on how to divide their assets.
How Long Do Louisiana Divorces Take?
First and foremost, we want to emphasize that legal separation and divorce are separate processes. Couples who are legally separated may never divorce. Thus, the procedure varies depending on how long it takes the parties to determine whether or not to pursue divorce proceedings.
Every state generally has different timelines for completing a divorce. In Louisiana, for those cases where both parties agree to the terms of the divorce, it can take around three months from the separation date until the date of signing the final divorce papers.
For more complex cases, the time it takes to complete the divorce can take six months to a year. This depends on how long it takes for both parties to present their respective evidence and arguments, how often the court calendar hearings, how well each side is organized, and how quickly they can respond to filings.
The duration of the divorce process can also be affected by how busy the court is and how quickly both parties can submit their paperwork.
When Should You File for Divorce?
It is important to understand that couples must be separated for 180 days before filing for divorce in Louisiana. During that mandatory waiting period, it is advisable to gather all relevant documents for filing the divorce, such as financial statements and information regarding marital assets.
Once the 180-day period is over, couples can begin to move forward with the divorce process.
Other Common Questions About the Divorce Process
When Can We Divide Community Property?
Community property can only be divided once the divorce is final unless both parties agree on how it is divided.
When Can I Sell, Donate, or Throw Out My Spouse’s Stuff?
You can only sell off assets once the property is divided by agreement or by the Court.
When Can I Remove My Spouse From My Health or Life Insurance Policy?
You can only remove your spouse from your health or life insurance once your divorce is final.
When Can I Remove My Spouse From My Car Insurance Policy?
Until your vehicles are divided, do not cancel the insurance on your spouse’s vehicle because if they get in an accident and are found at fault, you are still the half-owner and may be partially liable for any damages.
When Can I Move Out of State With the Children?
If you were married to the other parent or the other parent is on the birth certificate, you cannot move the children more than 75 miles away or out of state without the other parent’s written, signed, dated permission or permission from the Court.
When Can I Buy a New House?
You can buy a new house when a Petition for Divorce has been filed.
When Can I Start Dating?
The day after the divorce is filed, you can start dating.
When Can My Girl/BoyFriend Meet My Children?
When your divorce is final, and you have been in a serious relationship for at least six months, it is OK to introduce your new partner to your children unless they are child molesters.
However, an investigator can use that information against you in detention if that person has a criminal past.
When Can I Get My Clothes and Personal Belongings?
If you left your clothes and personal effects in the home when you left, we could file a Motion for you to have a law enforcement escort retrieve them.
Allow Us to Simplify Your Divorce Process
At Ellen Cronin Badeaux, we understand how difficult going through a divorce can be. Our experienced attorneys will guide you every step of the way and ensure that you are informed of the process.
We strive to provide our clients with clear and concise answers for personal injury phone or office consultations, family law, criminal defense, and mediation phone consultations.
You can call 985-892-1955 to schedule a consultation in person, by phone, or by Zoom.