Most people do not enter into marriage thinking that it may end in divorce. Divorce may become necessary if a couple’s circumstances have changed so much that living together is no longer a viable option.
Divorce can be a simple process if both spouses agree to it. However, in most cases, it is a complex process involving claims for child support, child custody, spousal support and the division of community property. Before you tell your spouse it’s over, you should obtain advice from an attorney about the substantive and procedural rules applicable to divorce proceedings. For many years, Louis Cosenza has served as a trusted counselor and advocate for his clients as they address the difficult issues that arise out of ending their marriages.
Mr. Cosenza keeps clients up to date about their cases and takes the time to ensure his clients are able to make well-informed decisions. He provides the personal attention and individualized advice that clients need during this difficult time in their lives.Divorce In Louisiana
Louisiana divorces fall into two categories, fault-based and no-fault divorces. Louisiana law allows you to get an immediate divorce on fault grounds if your spouse has been convicted of a felony and has been sentenced to death or imprisonment at hard labor. A party can also get an immediate divorce if he or she can prove that the other spouse has committed adultery. The number of adultery cases has greatly declined over the years. Adultery is often difficult (and expensive) to prove. The availability of no-fault divorces has also decreased the incentive for parties to divorce each other for sexual misconduct.
In rare cases, a marriage may be invalid from the beginning. One or both of the “married” persons may be entitled to a judicial annulment of a marriage. This is a declaration by the court that their marriage, in the eyes of the law, never happened. For example, if your spouse was not yet divorced from a prior spouse, your marriage to him or her may be null and void based on bigamy.
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In Louisiana, the overwhelming majority of marriages that end are ended by no-fault divorce. There are essentially two types of no-fault divorces:
- Article 102 divorces:
You can file a petition for divorce immediately under this Article. However, you must then wait at least 180 days (if no minor children were born of the marriage) or 365 days (if there were minor children) before you can ask the court to grant your divorce.
- Article 103 divorces:
If you have no minor children of the marriage, you can live apart for one hundred eighty days and then file a petition for divorce. If you and your spouse have minor children, you must live apart 365 days.
If you and your spouse entered into a “covenant marriage”, the rules are different. “Covenant marriages” were created by statute with a view toward discouraging divorces by making them more difficult and time consuming to obtain. No one can be forced to enter into a covenant marriage. The spouses must expressly agree to enter into one. You should let your attorney know whether or not you are a party to a covenant marriage.
Selecting the option that is best for you depends upon your circumstances. Since child custody, child support, spousal support, division of community property, and other things need to be taken into consideration, you should speak with an attorney before you decide. Mr. Cosenza will walk you through these options and offer advice about which one he thinks is appropriate given your unique circumstances.Serving the Greater Baton Rouge, Louisiana Area Contact An Experienced Divorce Attorney in Baton Rouge, Gonzales and Surrounding Areas
Whether you are just thinking about divorce or you have decided that your marriage is over, call our Gonzales office 225-647- 6644 or our Baton Rouge office 225-381-8181 or send an email to arrange a consultation.