Louisiana Divorce Process And Types

Louisiana recognizes both fault and no-fault grounds for divorce. No-fault grounds usually require living separately for a set amount of time, whereas fault grounds can include adultery, cruelty, or a felony record.

In Louisiana, the divorce rate is now 2.2, which means that it has one of the lowest divorce rates in the U.S. That being said, there are still those who didn’t make it. But how much does a divorce cost in Louisiana? If you’re in a situation where you want to put an end to your marriage, the cost can depend on the various factors and specific terms of your case.

Those in Louisiana who want to end their marriage should learn about the divorce process and the different types of divorce that are offered. Whether you are at the point of separation or want to understand the legal options available to you, this article will guide you through the process.

Overview of Louisiana Divorce Laws

Louisiana is a community property state, which means that any property acquired during the marriage is considered joint property and will be divided equally between the spouses in the event of a divorce. Yet, property acquired before marriage or through inheritance or a gift is considered separate property and isn’t subject to division.

Another important aspect of Louisiana divorce laws is the requirement for a waiting period. After filing for divorce, there’s a 180-day waiting period before the divorce can be finalized. This waiting period allows for the possibility of reconciliation or a cooling-off period for the couple to reconsider their decision.

The average cost of divorce in Louisiana is approximately $12,600 for cases without children and $18,900 for divorces involving children. Although actual costs vary greatly, a few common factors, such as filing fees, attorney fees, the complexity of the divorce, and the contentiousness of the divorce, all have an impact.  According to research, divorce rates vary by income level, adding another layer of complexity to the financial considerations involved.

Understanding the overview of Louisiana divorce laws is necessary to successfully navigate the divorce process in the state. It’s always recommended to consult with a qualified attorney who can guide you through the specific requirements and help protect your interests during this challenging time.

Types of Divorce in Louisiana

Louisiana offers two main types of divorce: a no-fault divorce and a fault-based divorce, and it’s important to understand the different types of divorce available to you.

  1. A no-fault divorce is the most common type of divorce in Louisiana. In this type of divorce, neither party is required to prove that the other spouse did something wrong to cause the marriage to end. Instead, the couple simply states that they’ve got irreconcilable differences and that the marriage is no longer working. This type of divorce is typically quicker and less contentious than a fault-based divorce.
  2. A fault-based divorce requires one spouse to prove that the other spouse is at fault for the breakdown of the marriage. There are several grounds for a fault-based divorce in Louisiana, including adultery, abandonment, cruelty, and felony conviction. However, it’s important to note that choosing a fault-based divorce can be more time-consuming and expensive, as it often involves gathering evidence and presenting it to the court.

It’s recommended to consult an attorney to evaluate which one is applicable in your situation.

Requirements for Filing for Divorce in Louisiana

Before filing for divorce in Louisiana, you must ensure that you meet the specific requirements set forth by the state. These requirements are in place to ensure that the divorce process is fair and equitable for both parties involved.

  • Louisiana requires that either you or your spouse be a resident of the state for at least 180 days before filing for divorce. This means that you or your spouse must have lived in Louisiana for at least six months before initiating the divorce proceedings.
  • Louisiana is a ‘no-fault’ divorce state, which means that you don’t need to prove any wrongdoing or fault on the part of your spouse to obtain a divorce. Instead, you simply need to state that the marriage is irretrievably broken and that there’s no chance of reconciliation.
  • Louisiana also requires that you and your spouse live separately for a certain period before filing for divorce. This period of separation is typically one year if you have no children from the marriage, or six months if you do have children.

Steps in the Louisiana Divorce Process

To begin the Louisiana divorce process, you’ll need to file a petition for divorce with the appropriate court. This is the first step in officially initiating the divorce proceedings. The petition should include information about both you and your spouse, as well as details about the grounds for divorce.

Once the petition is filed, you’ll need to serve a copy of the petition to your spouse, notifying them of the divorce proceedings. This can be done through personal service or by certified mail.

After your spouse has been served, they’ll have a certain amount of time to respond to the petition. If they fail to respond within the specified timeframe, the court may proceed with the divorce by default. However, if your spouse does respond, the next step in the process will be to exchange financial information and negotiate the terms of the divorce, such as property division, child custody, and support.

If an agreement can be reached, it will be submitted to the court for approval. If no agreement can be reached, the case may proceed to trial, where a judge will make the final decisions regarding the divorce.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Divorce Type in Louisiana

When choosing a divorce type in Louisiana, it’s important to consider various factors that will impact the outcome of your divorce proceedings. These factors include the complexity of your case, the level of conflict between you and your spouse, and your goals for the divorce.

The complexity of your case will determine which divorce type is most suitable for you. If you and your spouse have minimal assets, no children, and can agree on all terms of the divorce, an uncontested divorce may be the simplest and most cost-effective option. But if you have significant assets, complex financial situations, or disputes regarding child custody or support, a contested divorce may be necessary.

The level of conflict between you and your spouse will play a role in choosing the right divorce type. If you can communicate and negotiate effectively, mediation or collaborative divorce may be viable options. On the other hand, if there’s a high level of hostility and distrust, litigation may be necessary to protect your rights and interests.

Your goals for the divorce will also impact your choice of divorce type. If you prioritize maintaining a civil relationship with your ex-spouse, alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation or collaborative divorce may be preferable. Conversely, if your main goal is to assert your rights and obtain a favorable outcome, litigation may be the best course of action.


Navigating the divorce process in Louisiana can be complex and overwhelming. It’s important to understand the different types of divorce available and the requirements for filing. Considering factors such as custody, property division, and financial implications is crucial when choosing the right divorce type. Seeking guidance from a legal professional can provide the necessary support and guidance throughout this challenging process.