If your research has brought you to this article, there’s a good chance you are considering getting a divorce and concerned about how much you will have to pay for a divorce in Louisiana.
The answer to this question depends on a few variables:
- Are you filing your divorce on your own;
- What parish do you live in;
- Are there children involved;
- Is community property an issue, etc.
Other legal matters pertaining to a divorce proceeding such as child custody and community property division can greatly increase the legal fees. This article will address the cost of an uncontested divorce in Louisiana.
Contested Divorce Vs Uncontested Divorce
A contested divorce in Louisiana is one in which there are other ancillary legal issues that the couple cannot agree on and will need to bring their matter before the court system. It could be a long process that can span a number of years with hearing every few months. You could end up spending a fortune fighting over child custody and property and still not have a definitive answer.
An uncontested Louisiana divorce is much simpler. The parties normally agree on most issues or will at least work on them without getting the court system involved. The main focus of an uncontested divorce is filing the petition and getting a judgment stating you are no longer married. Sure, other issues may arise with children or property, but you agree to handle them without a judge.
An uncontested Louisiana divorce will cost substantially less and can be completed much quicker. However, you must adhere to Louisiana law and local court rules in order to have your divorce granted. If you don’t file it correctly the first time, you may end up spending more money and the process could take longer. You won’t need a court hearing with an uncontested divorce in Louisiana, so you are able to save on attorney fees.
There are two things you will have to pay for Divorce in Louisiana:
- Lawyer fees;
- Court filing fees.
How Much Are Lawyer Fees for an Uncontested Divorce in Louisiana?
The bulk of your divorce pricing comes from your lawyer fees. Lawyers charge for divorces two ways: hourly rate and flat rate. The client gets a better deal with flat rate pricing because you know exactly what the fee is and your attorney is motivated to finish your divorce quickly and efficiently because he or she is not receiving more payments. Shop around and find an attorney that will handle your divorce for a flat rate fee and get a few quotes. An uncontested divorce in Louisiana can cost anywhere from $500 on the low end up to $1,500 on the upper pricing scale. You may be tempted to pay an online divorce company to do your divorce, but be wary and read this article to see why that could be dangerous.
Lawyer pricing depends on the facts of your case, but an uncontested divorce usually doesn’t include many facts and can the petitions can be completed quickly. There are many experienced divorce attorneys in Louisiana that will charge less than $1,000 for an uncontested divorce and some even charge $500 for a divorce. It’s the same work that goes into your petition for divorce, so it is important to call as many attorneys as you can for price quotes and meet with them as soon as you can.
The next fee you will have to pay are court filing fees. These vary widely depending on the parish where you must file. They can easily range from $250 to $400 to file your petition for divorce, waiver of service and other ancillary paperwork. You will save money if your spouse agrees to accept service and you don’t have to have them served. The court will require the filing fees up front and if there is anything left over they will send the remainder to you. Your attorney does not receive the filing fees, they are for the Clerk of Court to process your divorce paperwork.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Divorce in Louisiana?
Louisiana has what is called a 102 divorce and has the following waiting periods before your divorce is finalized:
- Married with children – 365 days
- Married with no children – 180 days
The State of Louisiana has implemented a separation requirement that must be fulfilled before a judge can grant your divorce. The 102 divorce is also called a “No-Fault” divorce as neither party has to claim that the other spouse was at fault for the breakup of the marriage. You don’t have to have a reason to want a divorce, the state will allow you to divorce after you meet the separation requirement.
There are two ways to do it: file your petition and wait the appropriate time period or if you have already been living separate and apart you will then file your petition and the judge will grant your divorce.
The 103 divorce can grant you an immediate divorce, but you must allege in your petition that the other spouse was at-fault in some way. This could be abuse, infidelity, abandonment, etc. The judge will set a hearing date and you will put on evidence to prove your claim. If you are successful, the judge will grant your divorce.
How to Get a Quick Divorce in Louisiana
You may have seen online divorce companies advertise that you can get a “quick divorce.” Unfortunately, there is no true quick divorce other than filing a 103 divorce and going to court or if you’ve already been separated for the time frame you can do it then. You still have to either have your spouse agree to sign the Waiver of Service or have them served with the proper paperwork. Either way, it will take some time before you can say you are officially divorced. Louisiana has implemented a large body of divorce law and it unfortunately takes time to hit all of the requirements.
Disclaimer: This website does not offer legal advice, nor does it intend for anything in this article to be misconstrued as legal advice. You must speak with an attorney as this website is purely for informational purposes only and the law changes.