Ending a marriage may be a complicated, time-consuming process and involves certain legal procedures. Seeking qualified advice and being patient is important for getting through this process and obtaining a fair and reasonable divorce decree.
Divorce begins with the filing of paperwork. One spouse usually files these papers first and must serve them on the other party. In an uncontested divorce, both spouses may file these documents together.
During these proceedings, a court may issue temporary orders to handle matters that need to be addressed immediately before the spouses can negotiate a settlement or a court can issue the final decree. These usually involve children and deal with issues such as temporary child support, child custody, visitation or, where necessary, precautionary measures such as drug testing or psychological evaluations of either parents.
Circumstances may also require temporary orders for financial spousal support or use of the home or vehicles. Temporary orders are often used to preserve assets until property division is finally resolved.
There are other options than litigating a divorce case in court. The spouses can take part in settlement negotiations to reach agreement on outstanding issues.
Mediation is also an alternative that has been increasing in popularity. The couple and their attorneys appear before a neutral mediator to reach resolution of matters such as child custody, property division and support. The parties can find creative solutions to these issues, divert from standard custody or support arrangements and avoid having a judge impose an order on them.
If none of these alternatives are successful, the case goes before a Louisiana family court judge. Both spouses and their lawyers appear and present their cases. The judge will issue a decree based upon the evidence and legal arguments.
An experienced family law attorney should help a spouse throughout this proves by providing advice, drafting documents, negotiating and communicating on their behalf. Lawyers can help that rights are protected in court and negotiations.