IMPORTANT FAMILY LAW STATUTES
Domicile, Jurisdiction, and Venue
Domicile is the parish that a person treats as his or her permanent home, or lives in and has a substantial connection with. Some ways to establish domicile include what address is listed on a person’s driver’s license, what address is listed on utility bills where a person lives, and general ties to the community. For example, if someone works in Texas for two weeks and stays in a hotel or trailer paid for by their employer, and that same person comes “home” to Louisiana for one week, Louisiana is their domicile.
Jurisdiction is the court’s official power to make legal decisions and judgments. To be able to have a domestic case in Louisiana, such as divorce, one spouse much have established and maintained a residence in a parish of this state for at least six months. If these provisions do not apply to you or your case, please look for an attorney in the state in which you live.
If both spouses live in Louisiana but in different parishes, the case can be brought in the parish where either party lives. If at least one spouse lives in Louisiana, the case can be brought either in the parish of residence or in the parish of the last matrimonial domicile. Generally speaking, if the Firm is filing suit on behalf of a client, we will file the suit in the parish where our client lives, just to keep things convenient for our client.
DO I NEED AN ATTORNEY FOR MY FAMILY LAW CASE?
When it comes to domicile, jurisdiction, and venue, if you and your spouse/children are lifelong residents of a single parish, you're good. If you and your spouse/children have moved around between parishes and/or between states, you need an attorney who knows the proper analysis of what court you are allowed to bring your case in. We certainly recommend getting at least a consultation so we can make this important legal analysis.