One of the most common questions a divorce lawyer is asked is how long will it take to get divorced. To answer this question, it is necessary to know whether you have minor children and to understand more about the facts of your marriage. It is also necessary to assume that your spouse does not try to extend the process by challenging your right to get divorced or allege technical procedural defects.
Louisiana law allows for you to get divorced so long as you have been living separate and apart voluntarily and without reconciliation for a period of more than one year if you have children together and one hundred eighty days (180) if you do not. However, there are three exceptions to this.
The first is if you can prove that your spouse committed adultery you can get an immediate divorce. This can be really difficult to prove as courts are often reluctant to grant adultery based divorces. Divorces granted upon adultery are generally allowed only where you can show either compelling circumstantial evidence or you have other strong evidence such as videotapes or photographs.
The second exception is if your spouse has committed a felony during the marriage and has been convicted and sentenced to hard labor. It does not matter that your spouse may still be free on appeal, or for some other reason has not yet begun to serve their sentence to get this type of divorce. A felony conviction by your spouse will allow you to get an immediate divorce.
The third exception is if you have a covenant marriage, in which case it can take up to two years to get divorced. (Covenant marriages are exceedingly rare; it is estimated that less than one percent of all marriages in Louisiana are covenant marriages. If you have a covenant marriage, you probably are aware that you have a covenant marriage.)
Barring these three exceptions, and assuming that you have been living separate and apart for the requisite amount of time, the legal process, from consulting with a divorce lawyer to signing the final paperwork, can result in you getting divorced in around one month. The first step can require at least fifteen days after service before the second step can be begun. The third step can be begun at least two days after the second step is done. The third step should result in you having a final judgment. In other words, so long as you are able to get valid and quick service on your spouse, it could be possible for a Louisiana court to grant you a divorce in as soon as a month.
While you may wish to get divorced as soon as possible, Louisiana law is trying to slow you down by usually making you live separate from your spouse for at least several months. It does this to make sure that you are sure that you would like to get divorced. But once you have done this, the legal process can move quickly. If everything goes well and you pick a reliable divorce lawyer, you should be able to get divorced in less than thirty days.
The above material is intended for information purposes only. It is not intended as professional legal advice and should not be construed as such.
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