How is Divorce in a Small Town Different?
Divorce in a small town like Prairieville will differ, in some ways, from divorce in a large city such as Baton Rouge or New Orleans. Large cities in Louisiana may have special family courts where the judges hear nothing but family law cases: divorce, child support, child custody and visitation, spousal support and the division of community property.
Baton Rouge has a family court with four judges dedicated to family law matters. In a jurisdiction like Ascension Parish, which has no big city but a large population, you may appear before a hearing officer if your case involves state child support enforcement or domestic abuse. The hearing officer’s authority is not as broad as a judge’s. However, she can decide certain issues and suggest how the judge in charge of the case might best decide it.
Whether you appear before a hearing officer, a domestic commissioner, or a judge, the substantive law is the same. Ask your lawyer about the process. You will feel better knowing where you will be going for your day in court and what will happen there.