According to a recent report, New Orleans is the fastest growing city in the country. It has been seven long years since the Hurricane Katrina flood waters ravaged the city, but in true New Orleans fashion, NOLA is coming back bigger and better than ever! Who Dat!?!
As people move here from other states with unresolved domestic issues, they bring with them unique questions and problems. For example a frequent question I am asked is:
If I just moved here from another state can I get divorced?
The answer is, Yes. But before you can file for divorce you must establish a Louisiana “domicile” for six months. Simply put, so long as you have lived in Louisiana for six months before filing your petition you should be able to file for divorce here. You should immediately begin to establish your residency as a Louisiana citizen. For example, you should immediately obtain a Louisiana driver’s license, register to vote in Louisiana and obtain a Louisiana license plate on your vehicle.
What if my spouse didn’t move here with me?
Under Louisiana law, so long as you satisfy the residency requirements and have lived separate and apart without reconciliation for the required time period, or you can prove a fault based ground for divorce, a local court can grant your divorce, even if your spouse did not relocate with you. In addition, the local courts should have jurisdiction to decide ancillary issues such as child support, visitation, and custody. However, if your spouse did not move to Louisiana with you, the local courts may not be able to address the division of the marital assets. Whether the local courts can address those property issues will revolve around the extent of your spouse’s connection with the state, which requires a case by case evaluation.
As always, if you have any questions about your particular situation feel free to give me a call to arrange a consultation, as every case is unique. And if you are one of the many new comers to the area, welcome! I am sure you will love NOLA! Laissez le bon temps rouler!