Divorce Does Not Have To Be An Unfair Blow. Geaux Cascio.
While getting divorced is never easy, it does not have to be an ugly, expensive, drawn-out fight between you and your spouse. Most people in Baton Rouge want to get through their divorce as smoothly and painlessly as possible. But they also want their share of the marital assets they worked so hard to help earn. Even more importantly, they want to continue helping to raise their children so that they can flourish.
Attorney Chris Cascio of the Cascio Law Firm, has more than two decades of experience practicing law in Louisiana. He has helped hundreds of clients dissolve their marriages with compassion and respect, while also helping them protect their parental and property rights under state divorce laws. Chris understands the worry and uncertainty that come with divorce. He will draw on his skill in family law to help make sure you are ready for the next chapter in your life.
The basic steps to getting divorced in Louisiana are:
- Establish residency. You cannot file for divorce in Louisiana unless you and/or your spouse are “domiciled” here. That means at least one of you has lived in the state for at least six months. You can file in the parish where you lived together during your marriage, or in the parish where you or your spouse is currently domiciled.
- Before filing for a no-fault divorce, you and your spouse must live apart continuously for at least 180 days, or 365 days if you have a minor child together. Alternatively, you can file for a fault-based divorce if you can prove that your spouse committed adultery, has been sentenced to prison or the death penalty, or was physically or sexually abusive toward you or your child. Fault-based divorce also is possible if a court granted a protective order against your spouse.
- Once you meet the residency and waiting period requirements, you can file for divorce and send a copy of the filing to your spouse.
- For a contested divorce, you and your spouse will then begin negotiating a property settlement. Louisiana is a community property state, which means most property one of you acquired during the marriage belongs to both of you and must be split 50-50. Property that one of you owned before the marriage is called separate property, but can become co-mingled with the other spouse’s property to become community property. Spouses often dispute what is community property and what is separate property.
- Spousal support may also come up during settlement talks. In Louisiana, you are entitled to spousal support (commonly known as alimony) if you were not at fault for the breakup of the marriage and if you have no way to support yourself. This is often the case in long marriages when one spouse gave up their education and career to be the primary homemaker and child carer while the other spouse focused on earning an income.
- If you have children, you must also submit a joint child custody plan. The law requires that the plan be in the child’s best interests, which state law presumes means joint custody shared between the parents. If one parent wants sole custody, they must petition the court to show that depriving the other parent of custody is in the best interests of the child.
- If you and your spouse settle your differences on these issues, you submit the settlement to the court for the judge’s approval. If not, the court may hold a hearing on the matter. Attorneys for you and your spouse will make your cases and the judge will issue a ruling.
Contested Vs. Uncontested Divorce
The procedure described above is for a contested divorce. In some cases, spouses are able to agree on property division, child custody and other issues before filing. If you believe you and your spouse are prepared to do this, Chris Cascio can help you with an uncontested divorce. This can save you a lot of time, money and worry.
Learn More About Getting Divorced In Baton Rouge
The terms of your divorce should be based on your particular goals for the future. Find out how the Cascio Law Firm, can make that happen for you. Contact the firm’s Baton Rouge location and schedule a consult with Chris Cascio by calling 225-267-5680.