Louisiana Family Law:
Louisiana “103” No-fault Divorce
This type of divorce evolved from the twelve month separation, which evolved from the two year separation. The only requirement for filing this type of divorce is that the spouses were living separate and apart for at least six months prior to the filing of the petition. As long as there has been at least six months of physical separation, either spouse can file asking for a divorce without an additional waiting period.
TIP: For couples who have been physically separated for some period of time, especially for more than six months, this can be the ideal type of divorce.
The disadvantages are the six month wait and your unchanged legal status pending the final divorce. Unless you took some legal action to terminate the community, there still may be some responsibility for each other’s debts during the required six month physical separation. To avoid potential responsibility, it is advisable to petition the court to terminate the community as soon as there is a physical separation, and then later file for a divorce after there has been six (or twelve) months of physical separation. This procedure would end the community obligations of both parties.
WARNING: If there are minor children of the marriage, the waiting period is longer —usually 12 months instead of six months.
If the required six or twelvemonths of physical separation has already gone by, either party can go ahead and file for the divorce without any further delay or waiting period. Once six months have elapsed without reconciliation, there is really no point in filing for a 102 divorce. It makes more sense at that point to just file for the 103 divorce.
He received his Juris Doctor degree from the Louisiana State University Law Center in 1975. He is a frequent speaker in the estate planning field for corporate sponsored groups and also teaches estate planning seminars sponsored by the National Business Institute for lawyers’ continuing legal education requirements.
Mr. Covell is a member of the Louisiana and 22nd JDC Bar Associations. He is also chairman of the Estate Planning Committee of the Attorney General’s Elder Law Task Force. He is co-author of the Louisiana Legal Advisor which is a popular book on Louisiana law written for the layman, now in its 5th edition.
Mr. Covell is a Series 65 licensed investment advisor and is managing partner of Covell Financial, LLC, a registered investment advisor firm. Covell Financial is associated with TD Ameritrade as an institutional investor partner.