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There are two primary forms of divorce in Louisiana, La CC 102 and La CC 103. Article 102 can be said to cover the cases where people are still living together, but one or both wants a divorce. Article 103 can be for when you’re already apart, maybe you split up ten years ago and you’re finally ready for a divorce. Both of these are “no fault” divorces, and are simple to obtain. They require the right paperwork, and a waiting period.
There are also fault based divorces, which can be granted immediately. There are only a few justifiable reasons for fault in Louisiana, and those are: Adultery (cheating), the other spouse has been convicted of a felony and sentenced to hard labor, or physical or sexual abuse and the finding of a protective order.
This is just the divorce. There may be other “ancillary” issues, such as custody, child support, spousal support, or the division of property (partition).
In Louisiana, unless there is a prenuptial agreement, you will probably be in a community property regime, also called the legal regime. This means anything you owned before the marriage is separate property, and anything you acquire after you become married is community, or 50%/50%. It does not matter if one spouse makes $20,000.00 per year and the other makes $100,000.00. What matters generally is the date of acquisition, and whether it was bought or earned before or after becoming married. This includes investment accounts, retirement accounts, houses, cars, bank accounts – anything of value. The goal is to give each spouse his or her half as efficiently as possible, without spending so much money on lawyers that there’s nothing left. The happiest people in this regard often wind up being the people who are willing to both give a little to make it work.
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