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When filing for divorce in the State of Louisiana, the filing spouse must have been a resident for one year. Further, once the petition for dissolution has been filed, there is a 180-day waiting period before it can be finalized.
Art. 102: Louisiana's no-fault grounds for divorce include living separate and apart for 180 days without minor children; or 365 days if there are minor children - after filing the petition
Art. 103(1) Living separate and apart without reconciliation for a period of at least 180 days without minor children; or 365 days if there are minor children prior to filing a petition for divorce.
Louisiana also considers adultery and conviction of a felony among the grounds for a fault divorce.
The court will award custody in the State of Louisiana in accordance with the best interests of the child. Joint custody in this state is presumed to be in the best interests of the child, although this is refutable. If joint custody is awarded, both parents have the opportunity to participate in the decision-making process regarding the child's development. This does not necessarily mean that the child will spend half of his or her time with each parent.
The court will keep many factors in mind when making decisions regarding custody, including the relationship between parents and child, the child’s age and gender, the parent’s moral integrity and mental and physical health of all parties involved.
Louisiana’s child support guidelines apply in virtually every case, unless special circumstances are present. Both parties’ gross incomes and certain child related expenses are taken into consideration when calculating the child support figures. Child support will generally continue until the child reaches eighteen years of age, or completes high school, whichever occurs last.
The parties may be required to mediate their differences upon the motion of the court or upon motion of either party to reduce acrimony between the parties and assure continuing contact with both parents after the dissolution of the marriage. The court will require mediation when it appears to the court to be in the best interests of the child, or when it appears issues regarding custody or visitation are contested.
Before or after a divorce action has been initiated, the parties may agree to submit any disputed issue to mediation at any time.
Court filing fees are in addition to the cost of using LegalZoom.com. This cost may vary by county. Please check with your local courthouse to determine the exact amount.