There are many considerations facing anyone who may be contemplating getting a divorce. While not necessarily the biggest concern, and certainly not the most important, the cost of filing and proceeding with petitioning for a divorce is a real and legitimate question for most.
Though cost should never guide your decision of whether or not to proceed with a divorce — that decision must be based on your personal convictions regarding the relationship — it is important to understand the potential fees and costs associated with filing for divorce in Louisiana. To ensure you have all the correct and necessary information, it is strongly recommended you consult with a qualified and knowledgeable divorce attorney in Baton Rouge, LA, as soon as possible.
You should always be aware of all fees upfront and clearly understand what it will cost to cover all legal services involved in filing for a divorce. How your particular case will break down cannot be determined until you have sat down with an attorney and reviewed the details of your divorce together. Overall, your attorney will go over these general fees with you:
While the total costs will vary overall, depending on how involved your particular case is, it can range from only a couple hundred all the way up to tens of thousands of dollars. Make sure you discuss all the details of your divorce with your attorney to have the clearest idea of what will be involved in your situation.
In the short term, there are some fees you can avoid by foregoing hiring an attorney; however, there are long-term costs to filing alone that should be considered. For instance, without the knowledge and experience provided by a qualified divorce attorney, you will likely secure less property, spousal support, child support, or other benefits otherwise fought for by your Baton Rouge divorce lawyer. A skilled attorney will fight for each of your rights throughout the proceedings, ensuring the most favorable outcome possible.
It is highly likely that your spouse will be hiring a divorce lawyer for the same reasons. If that is the case, there is little chance you will be able to defend against an opposing lawyer. Despite the initial costs, consider the long-term savings and benefits of ensuring your own financial security by hiring an attorney to represent you.
Louisiana divorce laws require you to petition for divorce in the parish of the last matrimonial domicile, or the parish where either party lives. The fees for filing can range from about $200 to $600, including any necessary ancillary paperwork fees. However, if the divorce is contested, mediation could be required. Depending on the needs and complexity of your specific case, the total cost of divorce could increase to anywhere between several thousand to tens of thousands of dollars in representation and fees.
In a Louisiana divorce, all community property is divided equally. This means that a wife is entitled to 50% of all property acquired together in the marriage, such as savings, vehicles, and real estate. This also means that all debt acquired in the marriage is considered community debt, which will also be divided equally. The only exceptions to this entitlement are in cases where the couple has a prenuptial agreement or has agreed on an alternative split.
The amount of time it takes to get a divorce finalized in Louisiana will vary. A fault-based divorce may be finalized more quickly, as the law considers it an immediate divorce. A no-fault divorce, however, requires a period of time during which the spouses must live separate and apart. This period of time is 180 days if the couple had no children together or 365 days if any child was born, conceived, or adopted during the marriage.
No divorce is easy. They are often emotionally taxing procedures. The simplest divorce cases in Louisiana, however, are uncontested divorces. To qualify for an uncontested divorce, you must:
If you meet these requirements, the process for filing the divorce will be much smoother, and the risks of obstacles will be minimized.
If you have made the decision to begin filing for divorce, don’t wait or hesitate to contact our team at Magnolia Law right away. An experienced and knowledgeable Baton Rouge divorce lawyer will work passionately and compassionately to listen to your case, understanding the challenges faced and how to most effectively protect your interests. Divorce is already an emotionally draining and potentially burdensome financial affair. Make sure you do all you can to set yourself up for a better future in which you can begin to rebuild your life. Reach out to our office today to be counseled and guided through your divorce.