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Family Law & Divorce Lawyers

Experienced Metairie Divorce Lawyers

Few events have the potential to cause more stress than a divorce. But once you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage, the best course of action is to work through the legal process efficiently and effectively so that you can move on to the next chapter of your life. At Salley & Salley, LLC, our attorneys have a combined 50 years of experience that we use to help you work through this challenging time. We will help you understand each step of the process, so that you can make informed decisions.

Our attorneys practice exclusively in family law and include a board-certified family law specialist, certified by the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization. This is a title bestowed on a select few lawyers who meet specific standards of excellence and experience. We will use our in-depth knowledge of family law to help you end your marriage on terms that meet your needs.

Wide-Ranging Experience And Compassion

We can assist you with all aspects of your divorce, whether uncontested or complex. Some of the incidental matters you may encounter when going through a divorce are:

We have assisted clients with a wide range of family situations, from those seeking a simple, uncontested divorce to couples facing complex division of property issues. Whether you are facing an amicable settlement or a thorny legal dispute, we can help.

After analyzing the details of your case, we will help you identify the most cost-effective and efficient resolution. We understand that divorce is stressful enough without the added worry of legal bills. We approach every case with compassion — we are here to help you work through the challenges you are facing.

What Are The Legal Requirements To File For Divorce In Louisiana?

For you to initiate the divorce process in Louisiana, you must fulfill several legal requirements. These are:

  • Residency: Either you or your spouse must have been resident in Louisiana for at least 6 months before the filing.
  • Valid grounds: You must also have sufficient grounds for divorce. Louisiana allows two types of grounds for divorce: no-fault and fault-based. For a no-fault divorce, you must have lived separately from your spouse for either 180 days (if there are no minor children) or 365 days (if there are minor children). Fault-based grounds include adultery, felony conviction with hard labor or death sentence, physical or sexual abuse or abandonment for a specific period.
  • Proper filing procedures: The divorce petition must also be filed in the parish where either you or your spouse resides. This document formally initiates the divorce process and should include details of the grounds for divorce, any claims for child custody, support and division of property, and must be served to the other spouse along with a summons to appear in court.

At Salley & Salley, LLC, we will guide you through each step of the divorce process in Louisiana, making sure all legal requirements are met.

How Long Do I Have To Live Separate From My Spouse?

For couples without children, each spouse must live in a separate dwelling from the other for a minimum of 180 days (about six months) before a divorce can be finalized. This requirement can be satisfied either before or after filing an official petition for divorce, so long as documentation such as mortgage, lease, rental agreement or other proof of residence exists for each person.

For couples with minor children, this required period of living separately lasts 365 days, or one full year.

This requirement can be reduced or even waived in special circumstances such as the threat of domestic violence or a proven act of adultery.

How Long Does It Take To Finalize A Divorce?

The time it will take to finalize a divorce in Louisiana may vary depending on several factors, such as:

  • Whether the divorce is contested: Uncontested divorces may be finalized within weeks, but if you and your spouse cannot agree on all issues, the proceedings may take a while.
  • No fault vs. fault divorce: No-fault divorces generally proceed more smoothly and may be resolved more quickly, whereas fault-based divorces, especially those involving contentious issues like adultery or abuse, may require more time for resolution.
  • The complexity of your assets: Generally speaking, the more assets you and your spouse have, the harder it will be to divide them. The process can take a while, especially if there is a family business involved.

Court schedules in Louisiana can impact divorce timelines, affecting the scheduling of hearings and trials, especially in contested cases requiring court appearances to resolve disputes.

Learn More About Your Legal Options

If you are considering divorce or separation, contact us today for legal guidance before making decisions that can affect the future of your disposition of assets and/or child custody arrangements. Call 504-323-7114, or send us an email.

From our offices in Metairie, the attorneys of Salley & Salley, LLC, are available to help people throughout southeastern Louisiana and metro New Orleans.

Sandra Salley and Laurel Salley have each been separately recognized for inclusion in the Super Lawyers list as top attorneys in Louisiana. Our firm has also received an A+ rating from the Greater New Orleans Area Better Business Bureau.