Dealing with divorce paperwork is no longer a super complicated process. Now, you can easily handle it over the internet. You can prepare and, in some cases, even file your divorce documents from the comfort of your home in no time for a reasonable price.
This article will guide you through the paperwork stage of your dissolution of marriage in Louisiana.
Prepare Your Divorce Forms in Louisiana
In Louisiana, divorce forms may vary depending on the parish. But the minimum set of documents a petitioner (the person initiating the divorce process) needs includes:
- the petition for divorce
- summons, and
- the verification.
Unfortunately, you can’t get readily available divorce forms on the state Judicial Branch website, so you have three options.
You can visit your local courthouse to get a set of divorce documents. However, you will need to set aside some time to get the paperwork and then complete it.
Some spouses prefer to use a do-it-yourself approach for filling out forms, but you may need help if you have no legal background. In addition, spouses can only take the DIY path if they have no disputes regarding divorce-related issues.
Additional resources, such as Louisiana Law Help, can provide you with free forms and videos to assist with the divorce process. Still, it’s not always enough since Louisiana has complex procedures and unique requirements that can be confusing.
Like with the first option, spouses can fill out the forms themselves if they separate peacefully and resolve all marital issues. However, even with the assistance provided by the Louisiana Law Help, it can still be complicated.
If the divorce is contested, i.e., spouses can’t reach a consensus, they won’t be able to proceed without an attorney, leading to an increased cost of divorce.
You can use online divorce forms preparation services. Typically, this process is referred to as online or web divorce. This option is fast and affordable, and more importantly, it provides you with already completed divorce forms for your particular situation.
Keep in mind that this option is only available for those partners who seek an uncontested divorce and manage to agree on every existing issue before taking their divorce to court. In this case, spouses can complete their application for divorce online themselves.
File your divorce forms in Louisiana
As with many other states, in Louisiana, you can file your papers either online or offline. If you choose to submit your paperwork to the court offline, make sure to select the proper courthouse and meet the state’s requirements. To select the courthouse, you’ll need to check it with the clerk first. Also, remember to make several copies of your divorce documents.
If you choose e-filing, you only need internet access and a browser to file your divorce papers. Submit your forms online to participating Louisiana’s courts, and then the submission will be accepted or rejected by the clerk.
When filing for divorce, you will have to pay the filing fees, which may vary from parish to parish. However, in some cases, it’s possible to waive the filing fees with an Affidavit to Proceed In Forma Pauperis.
Serve your forms in Louisiana
The last thing you’ll have to do in the paperwork stage is to serve your spouse. Once your divorce documents are dated and stamped by the court, you can serve your spouse with a set of copies straight away.
In Louisiana, there are several options for serving the divorce documents. You can either hire a process server or the sheriff to deliver the paperwork to your spouse directly. If your spouse has a lawyer, you can provide them with all the documentation. It is also possible to hand service your spouse yourself if they agree to sign a waiver of service, which must be sent to the court along with the rest of the documents.
Paperwork preparation can be the most complicated stage when getting a divorce. However, if you do everything right, your forms can be accepted by the court clerk on the first try.
The best option for completing paperwork depends on your particular case. If your divorce is uncontested and you agree on everything with your spouse, you can use online paperwork preparation services to get relevant divorce forms from the comfort of your home and without wasting a fortune.