Divorce in Louisiana

Louisiana law provides for two methods of obtaining divorce. They are generally referred to by the code articles that establish these two types, Article 102 and Article 103. The difference basically is that under an Article 102 divorce, the party seeking the divorce files for the divorce and then must wait the required amount of time before obtaining the divorce, based upon whether the parties have children of the marriage. Under Article 103, the parties must have been living separate and apart for the required amount of time before the divorce is filed. All types of divorce require that the other party be served with the petition or sign a waiver of service. A waiver of service is a document stating that the party has received a copy of the divorce petition or other pleading.

Under an Article 102 divorce, the petition is filed and served upon the other party. The time limits are 180 days if the parties do not have minor children and 365 days if they do have minor children. The days are counted from the date the petition is served upon the other party or the date the waiver of service is signed. Generally if there are children, a hearing is scheduled when the petition is filed. This hearing will be to determine child custody, child support, spousal support if sought and use of the family home or family vehicles if that is an issue. Community property is not decided at this hearing. After the time period has passed a rule for final divorce is filed and served upon the other party. A hearing is set to which neither party need attend and the judgement of divorce is presented to the judge for signature. If the parties have not previously agreed upon community property, then a division of community property can now be requested.


Louisiana has adopted a no fault system of divorce which means the parties do not need to prove fault in order to obtain a divorce. The two types of divorce in Louisiana are known by the Civil Code Articles governing each one, 102 and 103. The difference between the two have to do with whether you wait the required amount of time before the divorce or after filing for divorce. The normal divorce is filed under Article 102. The procedure requires the party to file for the divorce and then wait either 180 days if there are no children, or 365 if there are children, then file a final rule for the divorce. Under Article 103, the party files for divorce after living separate and apart from their spouse for the required number of days. Normally a preliminary default is entered and then confirmed by the party seeking the divorce.

Services Offered

Services: Divorce, Child Custody, Visitation, Child Support, Spousal Support, Protective Order, Community Property, Adoption, Emancipation, Tutorship, Interdiction, Name Change, Succession, Probate, Wills, Matrimonial Agreements, Qualified Domestic Relation Orders, Income Assignment Orders, Real Estate sales, mortgages, donations, Declaration of Immobilization, Limited Liability Companies, Power of Attorney. Call the office for other services which may be provided but not listed.

About us

Lauren Gay Coleman has been licensed to practice law in Louisiana since 1984. She practices in the area of family law. She is a certified mediator and has a Masters Degree in Social Work. She has extensive courtroom experience. Her knowledge of the law will help you understand your rights and what to expect in a family law case.

Spousal Support

Our office can help you obtain spousal support during the time of your divorce. Spousal support is based upon your need and the ability of the other party to pay. Contact the office for further information on the possibility of you obtaining the benefit.

Child Support Hearings

Lauren Gay Coleman can help you through a child support hearing.  She is experienced and knowledgeable in the rules regarding child support.  If you need help with a child support issue you can contact us.
Child support is determined by looking at the gross income of the parents.  The child support calculation does not consider expenses of the parents. A basic child support calculation can be made by adding the monthly income of both parents, finding the nearest amount on the child support guidelines, found at the schedule below.  Then apply each parent’s percentage of income to the result and you get each parents share of the child support.
You can find the Louisiana Child Support Guidelines here:


You can find a child support worksheet here:

Custody and Visitation

Child Custody and Visitation

Lauren Gay Coleman can help you with your custody issue, whether you need representation in a custody dispute or help in drafting a workable joint custody plan both parties will be able to abide by.

Child Custody and visitation are decided during the period after the divorce is filed. The courts look to the best interest of the child in deciding child custody and visitation. Louisiana Civil Code Article 134 list the factors in determining a child’s best interest. It is as follows:
The court shall consider all relevant factors in determining the best interest of the child. Such factors may include:
(1) The love, affection, and other emotional ties between each party and the child.
(2) The capacity and disposition of each party to give the child love, affection, and spiritual guidance and to continue the education and rearing of the child.
(3) The capacity and disposition of each party to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care, and other material needs.
(4) The length of time the child has lived in a stable, adequate environment, and the desirability of maintaining continuity of that environment.
(5) The permanence, as a family unit, of the existing or proposed custodial home or homes.
(6) The moral fitness of each party, insofar as it affects the welfare of the child.
(7) The mental and physical health of each party.
(8) The home, school, and community history of the child.
(9) The reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of sufficient age to express a preference.
(10) The willingness and ability of each party to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the child and the other party.
(11) The distance between the respective residences of the parties.
(12) The responsibility for the care and rearing of the child previously exercised by each party.


We hope you find our website helpful and informative. Remember each situation is different. You should  consult your own attorney to answer your specific question.  Nothing contained in this website is intended to create an attorney/client relationship between the attorney and a person viewing this web site.
Get Directions To:

2011 MacArthur Drive Bldg 1
Alexandria LA 71301


Adoption of children is one of the most important steps you can take and you should carefully consider the attorney who will help you through this process.

In Louisiana there are three forms of adoption, intrafamily, private and agency. The intrafamily adoption is the most common type. And the most common type of intrafamily adoption is by a step parent. The private adoption is between two parties who either have know each other prior to the adoption process or have been brought together through some other means.  An agency adoption, as the name implies, is an adoption handled by a social service agency such as a church or adoption agency that specializes in such adoption.

Community Property

Under community property law each party has the right to request a division of community property. Community property includes all property acquired during the marriage. The normal assets to be divided upon divorce include pensions, homes and vehicles.

Louisiana is different from other states in that community property is not automatically divided at the time of the divorce. You must file a separate petition seeking a partition of community property either during the period of the divorce or after the divorce. There is no time limit for filing to partition the community property, however certain rights are time limited and you should consult an attorney to know about those rights.

Driving Directions

Directions: From MacArthur Drive south traffic circle, take the north service road back toward Prescott Road. Turn onto Prescott Road. The office is the first building from the north MacArthur Drive service road.
If coming from Texas Street, take Prescott Road behind St. Francis Cabrini Hospital. Continue down Prescott Road. The office is Building Number One which is the first building from the service road.

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Bar Associations

Lauren Gay Coleman is admitted to the Louisiana State Bar and the Alexandria Bar Association.  She graduated Suma Cum Laude from Mobile College in Mobile Alabama and from the University of Alabama Law School.  She was admitted to the Alabama Bar Association in 1983 and the Louisiana State Bar in 1984.

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