Do-It-Yourself Divorce in Louisiana - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Do-It-Yourself Divorce in Louisiana

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The process of getting a divorce in Louisiana can be highly complicated and time-consuming. However, you can significantly simplify it by reaching a mutual agreement on divorce-related issues with your spouse. As a result, you’ll be able to apply for an uncontested divorce. This option will allow you to proceed with your case without an attorney.

Keep reading this article if you’re interested in managing your case yourself to save money and time. It will provide information on the most important things you should consider during a DIY divorce in Louisiana.

Check Residency Requirements

Before filing for divorce in any state, spouses need to learn local residency requirements. When it comes to Louisiana, to apply for a marriage termination, you should meet the following condition:

  • Either you or your soon-to-be ex-spouse must have been a resident of the state for at least six months before the divorce case can be started.

Prepare Appropriate Documentation

The preparation of relevant forms plays a vital role in the divorce process. To obtain a full packet of divorce papers, residents of Louisiana should go to their local parish courthouse. The list of marriage termination documents may differ depending on your circumstances. However, the primary forms needed for starting a divorce process are:

  • The Petition for Divorce
  • Summons

Some people might face difficulties when filling out the forms. Inaccurate preparation of divorce papers can result in delays and additional financial losses. To avoid it, you can consider services offered by online divorce providers.

These companies are tremendously popular, as they help complete your uncontested divorce paperwork over the Internet quickly. Below are some benefits of using online divorce forms preparation services:

  • It is a fast way to prepare divorce documents.

Typically, online divorce providers need around two business days to do it, whereas attorneys may ask for at least one week to prepare high-quality documentation.

  • It is the most affordable way to complete divorce paperwork.

Online divorce companies charge around $200-500 for completing ready-to-sign forms. Considering that attorneys usually charge $200-$250 per hour for their services, or even more, the paperwork preparation process can cost up to several thousand dollars.

  • It is one of the most convenient ways to prepare legal documents needed for the dissolution of marriage.

To provide the company with appropriate marriage-related information, you typically need to complete an online questionnaire. More importantly, you can do it from any place and at any time of the day. Thus, you won’t need to postpone or cancel your job or personal plans, like what happens when you need to visit a lawyer.

Keep in mind that online divorce companies only assist in generating forms for uncontested cases. In other words, if you and your spouse have disagreements with divorce-related issues, such as child custody, property division, spousal support, etc., you won’t be able to proceed without an attorney.

Important!

Whether you plan to terminate your marriage with or without an attorney, you’ll be required to pay filing fees. In Louisiana, filing fees vary from parish to parish. The average price for filing a petition in this state ranges from $250 to $400.

Serve Your Spouse

Once the documents are filled out, you should file them with your local courthouse and serve your spouse. In Louisiana, you can serve your spouse in three ways:

  • By certified mail with a request of a return receipt
  • By a professional process server or the sheriff
  • By hand personally

Don’t forget that it is necessary to serve your spouse with a copy of all of the documents filed with the clerk within 90 days after the date you filed.

Address Divorce-Related Issues in Advance

The complexity and length of the marriage termination process mainly depend on your agreements with your spouse on the division of marital assets, child custody, spousal support, etc. If you manage to address these issues together, you can apply for an uncontested divorce, saving a lot of money and time.

In contrast, contested divorce requires the involvement of an attorney who takes responsibility for protecting your interests in court. So, a do-it-yourself approach to marriage termination is not applicable in this case.

If you can’t reach a mutual agreement regarding divorce-related issues, the court will interfere. The judge will decide on the amount of child support, how the property should be divided, the necessity of alimony, etc. The court will review the documents provided, including a Financial Affidavit indicating your financial status, income, expenses, assets, and debts, and other factors that can be important for the case.

Conclusion

Do-it-yourself divorce can be an excellent opportunity to end your marriage with minimal financial and time losses. However, it only works for uncontested cases that allow spouses to proceed without a lawyer.

You can be considered a great candidate for using this option if you and your spouse have agreed on all the issues related to your marriage termination. In other words, you don’t have disagreements about child custody, spousal support, property division, etc.

You can also choose how to proceed with the paperwork. You can fill it out yourself or go the partially DIY route and use online divorce forms preparation services.


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