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  • Writer's pictureClaire Edwards

Attorney for Divorce

DO I NEED AN ATTORNEY FOR MY DIVORCE?


Of course, we recommend that you get an attorney. We do divorces all the time, so we can help with common pitfalls such as when the spouse can't/won't get served. We can get a private process server or curator appointed, if the other party is unable to be served or will not sign a waiver of service and citation.


Another pitfall is getting the right paperwork to the Judge. Many people try to do their own divorces and file a 103 default to try to get a 102 confirmation, and the court will simply deny improper filings.


If you really want to try to do it yourself, you're entitled to, and it's called litigating "pro se." We recommend that you contact the Lafayette Bar Association, as they will provide you with forms to help (note: the LBA does NOT have 102 forms- they will only give you paperwork to get 103(1) divorced pro se).


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 educate you to help make this important legal analysis.



DOMICILE

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

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 must 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.


VENUE

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.

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