DIVORCE & FAMILY LAW FAQ

Answers from a Baton Rouge Divorce Attorney


Do I have to go to court in order to obtain a divorce?

Filing divorce papers with a court is the only way you will obtain a legal separation from your spouse. This applies to any other form of legal separation, including a marriage annulment. Aside from the divorce decree itself, a court is able to assist in settling other matters related to divorce, which include child custody and the distribution of marital assets.

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How long will the divorce process take?

The length of your divorce proceedings will depend on different factors, which include how long it takes to serve divorce papers to your spouse, whether your spouse is willing to waive their rights to service and notice of trial, whether you have minor children from the marriage and legal delays. Typically, it will take 20 to 40 days to receive a divorce judgment from the court after papers have been served. If your spouse decides to waive his or her rights to service and notice of trial, the judgment can come swiftly. It is important to note that a judgment does not become finalized until the 30-day "appeals" window has ended. Another important point to note is that you must be living separately from your spouse for six months (or longer if there are minor children from the marriage) before being able to file a petition, unless there are extenuating circumstances, such as your spouse committed a felony. Securing an attorney for legal representation may result in your divorce process being resolved much faster than you attempting to navigate the proceedings on your own.

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How will custody of my child be decided?

It is possible for you and your spouse to come to a decision regarding child custody without the court intervening. However, if you and your spouse cannot come to a custody terms agreement, the court will decide for you, and will look at the following:

  • the child's gender and age;
  • the child's mental and physical health;
  • the child's relationship with each parent;
  • the parents' respective lifestyles;
  • each parent's ability to provide basic necessities for the child, including shelter, food, and clothing; and
  • the child's preference (if they are of a certain age).

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How will child support be calculated?

Child support is calculated differently depending on the state one resides in, but the general factors taken into consideration by the court when calculating payments include:

  • the standard of living of the child prior to the divorce;
  • the ability to pay of the parent giving child support;
  • the specific needs of the child, including their food, clothing, and educational costs; and
  • the needs and income of the custodial parent (the parent with primary custody of the child).

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Get in Touch with a Divorce Lawyer in Baton Rouge

If you have further questions about divorce, contact a Baton Rouge divorce lawyer who can provide you with comprehensive information about how the process works.

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Baton Rouge Divorce Attorney

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The Layfield Law Firm, LLC
Baton Rouge Divorce Attorney
4232 Bluebonnet Blvd.,
Baton Rouge, LA 70809
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