Louisiana Marital Settlement (Divorce) Agreement and Legal Separation

Establishing a family is a serious decision. Likewise, finding the right time to let each other go is not easy. When a couple ends up in a situation where divorce seems inevitable, it is more than sensible for both parties to sign a Louisiana Marital Settlement Agreement containing a detailed description of how the spouses will interact after the separation.

You will find the following provisions in this form:

  • Money-related details
  • Your mutual consent concerning children support
  • Health insurance agreement
  • And other responsibilities of both parties.
Louisiana Marital Separation Agreement

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People whose spouses are in active military service should indicate this in the contract. If you or your legal partner are considering changing the name after the process, check the corresponding boxes in the document. To obtain the most recent paper, do not hesitate to use our form-building software. Fill out the form, append your signature, and the date your agreement becomes effective before submitting it to the court. Make sure you have reviewed all the provisions thoroughly and that they are all clear.

If you create this form, it will be much easier and quicker for the judge to decide and issue both spouses their divorce certificates.

Louisiana Divorce and Separation Laws

The government tries to protect the family institution, especially if its members have children or share valuable marital assets. Special laws regulating divorce procedures are presented in this part.

Grounds for Divorce

RS § 9:307 contains information on why a petitioner may wish to become a divorcee. Most commonly, both parties turn out to be leading separate households. The state law requires that you evince that you have not been living together for 180 calendar days. If the couple has children, it is necessary to provide information that your spousal relationship came to an end at least one year before filing the papers.

Unfortunately, the plaintiff can reveal fault grounds such as:

  • Proving that the adverse party has committed adultery;
  • A spouse being sentenced to death or imprisonment after a criminal activity;
  • The adverse party has intentionally abandoned your residence;
  • Domestic violence;
  • Continuous aggressive behavior of the adverse party.

Popular Local Marital Settlement Agreement Forms

A marital settlement agreement, also referred to as a separation agreement, is a powerful tool that could help you work out the divorce and avoid unnecessary headache. Below are the states where people search for this form the most.

Property Division

Louisiana is a community property law state, which implies that all the property will be divided between the parties equally unless stated otherwise in the Louisiana Marital Settlement Agreement.

Child Custody and Visitation

Child-custody issues are resolved according to various factors. The judge will analyze both parents’ ages, job positions, and even sexual orientation. If you live far from your kid’s school, you cannot be chosen as a custodian as the situation might be estimated as too stressful and uncomfortable for the child. Most importantly, the court will look into your family history, seeking pieces of evidence of violence and abuse, and make sure that the minor child stays with a parent who can establish a safe environment in the house.

Undoubtedly, the child’s preferences and the parent’s willingness to cooperate will also be considered.

Visitation means that the court, having studied all the case-related materials, provides both parents with specific rules to make sure the child spends enough quality time with their mother(s) or father(s).

Child Support and Alimony

According to CC Art. 112, a parent who needs financial support to raise a child will be provided with a calculated amount of money, depending on some factors after the opposite party’s situation analysis. The duration of your legal relationship, your income, tax consequences, and other information will be considered. No matter how high your income is or its source, you will not be demanded to deliver support greater than one-third of your earnings.

Legal Separation (LS) is not allowed in all US states, but Louisiana recognizes this form of spousal interaction. Usually, a couple seeks LS if they feel that living in the same household is no longer a desired possibility, yet official divorce can cause some kind of harm. One can request LS if they have been residing in Louisiana for a year before filing.

Keep in mind that the option is only available if you and your partner are in a covenant marriage. Covenant marriage is a type of legal relationship accepted in LSA and two more states, which implies that the spouses have attended a counselor before getting married and agreed to stricter conditions when initiating divorce.

The grounds for LS are infidelity, abuse, abandonment lasting more than two years, and others. LSA-R.S. 9:307, LSA-C.C. Art. 105 regulate all LS-relevant issues. You can turn this status into a divorce any time you wish.

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Filing for Divorce in Louisiana

You need to be living in LSA for six months or more to file for divorce in the state. The process will take not less than 30 calendar days. You can enter into another legal relationship as soon as you wish after receiving a divorce certificate.

1. Do the Paperwork

Preparing all the documents is probably the most crucial step, so spend enough time studying papers that your local court demands.

2. Pay an Applicable Fee

Processing the documentation and analyzing the case are done after the petitioner has paid a fee, which will be $100 or more, depending on the county.

3. Provide the Opposing Party with Prepared Documentation

That person initiating the process must deliver the papers to the other spouse so that they get acquainted with the materials you will supply the court with and file a response in case there is a necessity. The latter can be done within 15 days after being served.

If you wish, you can opt to deliver the set of documentation yourself or ask a sheriff to do this for a fee. If you are not aware of where your spouse is currently residing, special requirements may apply.

4. Schedule the Hearing

Depending on the reason for divorce, the court can either provide you and your spouse with a competent mediator to settle the most questionable issues or consider the pre-signed settlement agreement. Contact a court employee for information about the date of your hearing and notify the defendant about it.

5. Finalize the Process

On the hearing date, ensure you attend the court session and get ready to defend yourself and stand for your side. After the final judgment, you will be issued a divorce certificate, meaning that your legal relationship with the opposing party is no longer effective.

When someone says “divorce,” it is easy to imagine an outraged couple unable to stop fighting. However, it is becoming common to look for professional psychological support, mediators, and legal consultants ready to do their best to protect both parties from emotional trauma.

Published: Apr 23, 2022