“Is There Such a Thing as an Uncontested Divorce?”
People ask me this all the time, making a playful joke about using the word “uncontested” in a context that is generally rife with “contest.” Although divorces are rarely without their tension, Louisiana law does afford spouses an opportunity to obtain an “uncontested divorce” in certain limited circumstances. Uncontested means that the parties basically have agreed to disagree and move on with their lives. They don’t have many issues at stake; they just want to go to court, and get their marriage dissolved as quickly and inexpensively as possible.
How quick is quick? Generally, once the paperwork is filed a divorce can be granted within seven to ten days. One way to speed things up is to have your spouse sign a Waiver of Service and Citation. This document tells the court that your spouse is aware of the divorce (because they will have been provided with a certified copy of the Petition) and does not wish to draw things out by making a sheriff serve them with paperwork. If they don’t want to fight the divorce, there’s nothing more they need to do. So long as no opposition is filed, the court will grant a final judgment of divorce rather quickly. There are some statutory time periods that have to pass between the filing of the petition and the granting of the divorce, but they are short, and a judgment is rendered as soon as it’s clear your spouse will not be contesting the matter.
How inexpensive is inexpensive? My fee for this type of divorce is a flat rate of $499.00, plus applicable court costs. These cases don’t usually require much paperwork, and so little of my time is needed to get the divorce accomplished. Therefore, I don’t think it’s fair to charge you more than that. The clerks of court, however, have a different way of calculating what they charge, and each parish has its own fee structure. You are welcome to consult with me about the charges in the parish where you live.
If you want to learn whether your divorce can be filed under this uncontested procedure for the low rate of $499 plus court costs, call Meneray Family Law today at (504) 330-5522.