How to Get a Divorce in Louisiana for Free

Image with emphasis on the possibility of getting a divorce for free

Getting a divorce in Louisiana typically involves certain costs, but there are options available for those seeking a low-cost or even free divorce. In Louisiana, individuals may qualify for indigent status, which waives court fees based on their income level. Additionally, some organizations offer pro bono legal services or self-help resources to guide individuals through the divorce process.

Below, you will find more details about possible ways to reduce divorce costs.

How to Waive Court Fees for Divorce in Louisiana?

Image of the size of court fees for filing for divorce
Court fees for filing for divorce in Louisiana can vary, but they typically range from $200 to $400.

When you file for divorce in Louisiana, you have to cover a filing fee to start the legal proceedings. Throughout the state, the amount to pay varies from $200 to $400. A petitioner who can’t afford to cover the sum may file an affidavit to proceed in forma pauperis (IFP). This document outlines your financial situation, including such details as your earnings, expenditures, assets, etc. By submitting it to the court, you officially request it to waive the filing fees.

In Louisiana, when determining whether a petitioner meets the criteria for a fee waiver, the court will consider their genuine ability to cover these costs while accounting for essential living expenditures and financial obligations, e.g., debts. Once decided, the court will give an official order approving or denying your request for IFP status.

If the filing fee is waived, and you apply for an uncontested, no-fault divorce and prepare all the needed papers yourself, it is possible to avoid divorce expenses at all.

What Are My Options for Free Divorce in Louisiana?

Many spouses wonder if there is a possibility to apply for a free divorce in Louisiana. Though completely free marriage terminations are not that common, there are legal ways of getting a divorce in Louisiana without spending large sums. Have a look at the listed options to understand which one can work out in your specific case.

1) Filing for Divorce on Your Own in Louisiana

Woman is holding a lot of divorce documents
Filing for divorce on your own in Louisiana can be challenging due to the legal complexities involved, and individuals may encounter hurdles without legal guidance.

If you are going to start a no-contest divorce in Louisiana, meaning there are no unresolved disputes between you and your spouse, you may choose a DIY approach. In this case, you will navigate the process without a lawyer’s assistance, reducing divorce costs to filing and serving fees.

You can obtain the necessary court forms from the official court website or at the local clerk’s office. You will have to fill them out, submit them to the clerk, serve your spouse, and wait for the final divorce decree. Although these steps seem clear and simple, there are still some risks you should be aware of.

The divorce procedure can be confusing, and without professional guidance, you may miss important details or make errors in your forms. Thus, redoing paperwork will prolong the divorce process and increase the overall price, as you’ll have to pay a filing fee every time you submit a new package of documents. Moreover, you may feel stressed out when managing a divorce alone.

So, even if you want to keep your expenses at the lowest possible level, you should still think twice before choosing a DIY divorce. It is necessary to evaluate all potential pitfalls as they can cause big expenses in the long run.

2) Online Divorce

When seeking cost-effective marriage dissolution, some couples decide to file for divorce in Louisiana online if this option is available in their parish. If that is not applicable in your case, it is still possible to reduce most divorce expenses if you have negotiated all issues with your partner, apply for an uncontested divorce, and do not require the involvement of a lawyer.

Instead of managing documents yourself, you can reach out to a Louisiana divorce service and have the needed forms generated by a secure online system for a moderate cost. More and more couples opt for such an option since they can get all the required divorce papers quickly and without paying thousands to a lawyer for the same work.

If you are looking for a credible online company that can prepare divorce documents for you within several business days, we are ready to accept the order right now. In addition to error-free papers, you will get understandable filing instructions.

3) Free Legal Aid Services

Laptop with information about legal divorce advice
Free legal aid services can be valuable for individuals who cannot afford legal representation.

Couples who consider applying for a divorce but experience financial hardships can take advantage of free legal aid services. Specialists in such organizations:

  • help spouses understand a general divorce process,
  • give them free divorce papers in Louisiana,
  • provide guidelines on what steps each party has to take,
  • inform spouses about their rights and responsibilities.

Moreover, they offer low-income legal help in Louisiana on such divorce issues as child custody, support, and property division.

It is important to note that these free services may have limited resources and staff availability due to high demand. Therefore, it’s advisable to seek assistance as early as possible in the divorce process. Moreover, free legal organizations may prioritize cases involving domestic violence in Louisiana or divorces with children involved.

Such legal assistance is more suitable for couples filing for uncontested, no-fault divorce. In contested, fault-based ones, turning to such free services may not be enough to finalize a case successfully.

When Can You File for a Divorce Without a Lawyer?

When spouses are on amicable terms and can communicate effectively to reach agreements on their marriage termination, filing for divorce in Louisiana without a lawyer can be a practical choice. Uncontested cases are often finalized quicker, so partners will likely save time and money.

The advantages of filing for divorce without a lawyer extend beyond financial considerations. Spouses have more control over the decisions as they actively participate in negotiating and crafting their divorce settlement. Therefore, they are likely to be more satisfied with the final outcome.

In short, couples can apply for a divorce without a lawyer if they can deal with the legal paperwork, represent themselves in court, if needed, and agree on important matters like taking care of children, dividing assets and debts, defining spousal support, etc.

Infographic of situations when you may need lawyer for the divorce in Louisiana
Hiring a divorce lawyer is recommended when you have complex legal issues, significant assets, or disagreements with your spouse that require legal expertise to navigate.

The Bottom Line

Divorces often result in huge financial expenses. However, couples that are going to end their marriage in Louisiana have the possibility to reduce the financial burden. For instance, low-income individuals can ask the court to waive filing fees. Alternatively, couples that apply for an uncontested marriage dissolution can go through a DIY divorce or use online divorce services. There are also free legal aid organizations that provide guidance to divorcing couples who cannot afford to hire a private attorney.

However, keep in mind that all listed options are better suited for couples that have come to an agreement concerning major divorce-related issues. Of course, couples that start a contested divorce can also try to manage it without a lawyer and resort to free legal aid services. Still, the contested process is usually emotionally taxing and very long, and you will likely require legal help. Therefore, in complex cases, it is better to contact professional family law attorney.