If you have decided to get a divorce the procedure for obtaining a divorce varies depending on whether the applicable time period has passed. The most common occurrence is to seek a divorce either before, or immediately after, you separate.

To begin the process, you file a petition for divorce. Your spouse must either be formally served with it, or, he/she can execute a waiver of the service.
So when does the clock begin to run for the divorce? It runs when your spouse has both been served or waived service, and, you’ve begun living separate and apart. In other words, even if you’ve filed and served your spouse, if you are still living together (it does happen) the clock has not yet started to run until you actually separate.
Once those two events have happened, and the time period has passed, either one of you can file a motion (called a “rule to show cause”) to obtain the divorce. A hearing is held (usually within 2-4 weeks of filing the motion) but usually does not require the presence of the parties. The facts are typically established by affidavit and the judgment is granted.
Now in some instances, the parties have already been separate and apart for the requisite period of time. If that’s the case, you can file the petition and you don’t have to wait the extra time. The procedure is a little different, and it will possibly require testimony at a trial, but it can still be obtained reasonably quickly.

This blog is not a substitute for legal advice. Should you need some, please contact me and I will be happy to schedule an appointment.

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Reardon is an Attorney & Counselor at Law and Board Certified Family Law Specialist His primary areas of practice are Divorce & Family Law and General Civil Litigation and is located in Lafayette, LA