Younger couples are often able to have simpler divorces than older couples are: they’re less likely to have children, real estate and other significant assets that can complicate the separation process. Divorce is rarely a walk in the park, but having fewer things to fight over can certainly make the process go more smoothly.
Unfortunately, simple doesn’t always mean fast when it comes to divorce, since many states – including Louisiana – require couples to live separately for a period time before they can file for a no-fault divorce.
Since “no-fault” means you don’t have to point to any specific grounds for divorce, states often have required separation periods as a way of showing a marriage has broken down.
Here are the required waiting periods for no-fault divorce in Louisiana:
- Six months (180 days) if you don’t have any minor children
- One year (365 days) if you have minor children
Again, this only applies for a no-fault divorce; if certain grounds for divorce are met – in the case, for example, of adultery or abuse – there is no waiting period.
Regardless of the length of the required separation period, it may feel like you’re in limbo. As we’ve suggested before, one way to use the time productively is to prepare financially for your divorce process – as well as your future after divorce.
Even if you’re just beginning to live separately from your spouse, it’s a good idea to consult an attorney early in the process to make sure it goes as smoothly as possible.