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How long does the Louisiana divorce process take?

On Behalf of | Jan 24, 2023 | Divorce

By the time you have made the choice to file for divorce, you have likely felt as though your marriage was unpleasant and stressful for some time. It is common for people to spend months if not a few years trying to work through their relationship troubles before they finally call it quits and initiate divorce proceedings in the Louisiana family courts.

While you may be ready to move on with your wife, the process of ending your marriage has only just begun. Divorce typically takes quite some time from the first stages to the final approval of your property settlement arrangements and custody matters. How long can you expect it to take to end your marriage after filing for divorce in Louisiana?

It can take at least 6 months, possibly longer

Louisiana has a statute that requires a mandatory period of separation prior to actual divorce proceedings.

For couples that do not have any minor children at home, the mandatory separation is typically six months. If the couple has children together that are not yet legal adults, then they will typically need to remain separated for at least 12 months.

During the separation, the spouses must live separately from one another. Any attempts at reconciliation, however brief, will restart the clock for the legal separation.

What about covenant marriages?

If you and your spouse wanted to deeply commit at the time of your wedding, you may have secured a covenant marriage. These unique legal agreements necessitate couples counseling before the two of you have been divorced.

If you have a covenant marriage, that will likely increase how long it takes to go from the idea of filing for divorce to the finalization of the court orders in your case. Your separation will usually need to last at least two years.

Going to court takes longer than settling

Litigation can also be a factor that increases how long divorce takes to complete. When spouses work out their own property division arrangements and parenting plans, their uncontested divorce only requires review and approval by the courts.

Litigated divorces require hearings in front of a judge and can take much longer to fully resolve than uncontested divorces. In some cases, it could be 18 months or even longer before people are able to end their marital relationship in accordance with Louisiana state law.

Learning more about what to expect during your divorce proceedings can help you prepare yourself for the challenges ahead.