21st Judicial District Court Automated Uncontested Divorce Forms
Authored By: Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (including information about applying for help online)
21st Judicial District Court for the Parishes of Livingston, St. Helena and Tanigpahoa: Automated Uncontested Divorce Forms
by: Southeast Louisiana Legal Services
21st Judicial District
Livingston Parish, St. Helena Parish, & Tangipahoa Parish Only
You must read all of the information below before you get to the link to the computer program to create your forms.
You must file in the correct judicial district and in the correct parish courthouse within that judicial district.
Some judicial districts, like the 21st Judicial District, cover more than one parish.
If you file in the courthouse for the wrong parish, your divorce will not be valid.
If you do not know where you may file legally, stop using this program and see a lawyer.
When you are done withthe computer program you should have the items numbered below in your uncontested divorce forms packet, plus a copy of these instructions.
In addition to this list, your packet should have the following eight (8) items:
1. Pro Se Petition For 103(1) Divorce - No Minor Children. This is the form where you ask the court for your divorce.
2. Verification (immediately following the Petition). This form tells the court that you are not lying to get a divorce, and that everything you said in your Petition is the truth.
3. Acceptance of Service and Waiver of Citation and All Delays. This form is signed by your spouse in front of a Notary Public. This form is the way that your spouse tells the court "I got notice that a suit for divorce has been filed against me and I do not want to hold things up."
4. Motion for Preliminary Default, with attached "Certificate" and "Order." The Motion is a notice in the court record that you are going to go forward to try to get your divorce. The "Certificate," which the clerk fills out, tells the court that your spouse has not filed anything in court to answer or oppose your suit. The "Order," which the judge has to sign, grants you something called a "Preliminary Default," an important step toward getting your final Judgment.
5. Affidavit of Petitioner. This Affidavit is evidence the judge uses to decide whether to give you your divorce. This Affidavit also tells the court that nothing has happened since you filed for divorce that would prevent you from getting a divorce.
6. Third Party Affidavit. This is an affidavit from someone who knows and can swear to the basic facts that support your case for a divorce.
7. Motion for Confirmation of Divorce Judgment of Default without a Hearing, including the attached "Petitioner's Certification" and "Clerk's Certification." This form asks the judge to give you your divorce and tells the judge that the case is ready to be decided. You must also complete the "Petitioner's Certification," and the Clerk of Court completes the "Clerk's Certification."
8. Judgment of 103(1) Divorce - No Minor Children. When the judge signs your Judgment of 103(1) Divorce you are divorced.
Online Uncontested Divorce Forms: 9 steps in your case.
This forms package and these forms and other materials do not replace the advice of a lawyer and are not legal advice.
It is always best to talk with a lawyer before taking legal action.
If you need to look for a free legal services program, there is an online Legal Program Directory on www.lawhelp.org/la.
IMPORTANT - You are not divorced until you complete step nine below and the judge signs your final divorce Judgment.
Do not use the online forms if you have any issue regarding child custody, child support, spousal support, or community property. These forms do not deal with those issues.
The online forms are only for people who can answer "yes" to every item below:
· Do both parties agree to the divorce?
· Is ONE of the following three things true?
1. You are domiciled (live) in Livingston, St. Helena or Tangipahoa Parish.
2. Your spouse is domiciled in one of those three parishes.
3. You and your spouse last lived together in one of those three parishes.
· You and your spouse have no minor children together. That means no child less than 18 years old as of the time you file for divorce.
· The wife did not give birth during the marriage to any child who is still under 18, and the wife is not pregnant.
· You do not have a covenant marriage. See the definition of covenant marriage below.
· Have you and your spouse lived separate and apart for more than 180 days without any reconciliation and are you still apart?
· There is no community property and there are no community debts to deal with.
· Neither of you is an active member of the United States Armed Forces.
· Does your spouse agree to sign the necessary papers to get the divorce?
· Are you willing to file your divorce on your own without an attorney to represent you?
· Do you intend to file your divorce In Forma Pauperis? See the definitions section below.
· Do you have money to pay for certified copies of pleadings? These will cost several dollars a page.
Do not use these forms if even one of the items above is not true for you.
Terms: there are a few terms that you need to understand when reading the instructions.
Louisiana is a community property state. If you lived with your spouse in Louisiana, and didn't take legal action to prevent forming a "community," then each spouse generally owns one half each of all of the community property and debts. This is a brief definition and issues of community and separate property are full of exceptions and are very complicated. Please see a lawyer if there are any questions about this because you could lose valuable rights by divorcing without settling the property issues.
Copies and Original Documents: "Original" documents, "certified" copies, "stamped" copies, and regular photocopies:
These instructions refer to "original" documents and different kinds of copies of original documents. The instructions refer to "certified" copies, "stamped" copies, and regular photocopies.
The one with an original signature on the document.
A photocopy of the original document where the clerk makes a special certification that this paper is a copy of the original. Only the office of the Clerk of Court can make and give out certified copies.
A photocopy that the clerk stamps when you file the original document. The stamp usually shows the date and time. Sometimes these are called "clocked" copies. These copies are for you to keep for your records.
Warning! Stamped copies cannot be used when an original or certified copy is required.
You have a covenant marriage if you complied with the law to create a covenant marriage. Among other things, the covenant marriage law requires counseling before getting married and that the couple must sign a paper before a notary public to say they intend to enter into a covenant marriage.
That is a judgment you get when the other party isn't coming to court. A default is like winning a football game because the other team didn't show up and you win by "default."
This is the spouse of the person filing the divorce. The Defendant is the person the divorce petition is filed against.
You live somewhere and you don't have plans to move out of the area. People who have "temporarily" relocated may be domiciled where they were living before. This could apply to people in the armed forces, people in jail, or college students.
In Forma Pauperis:
This means you will prove to the court that you are too poor to pay court costs. To do this, you will file court papers showing your income and assets, and that you are unable to pay the court costs. You will also have to get a witness who knows your financial situation to sign a statement saying you can't pay the costs. If you lie on these papers, you and your witness could face criminal charges. Warning! If you should lose the case, the judge can still order you to pay all or part of the court costs. It is also possible that the judge will order the other side to pay these costs. You may be asked to pay the costs after you get your divorce. For more information see the resources about filing In Forma Pauperis on www.lawhelp.org/la.
Living separate and apart:
This means living separate and apart without any reconciliation. You may only use these forms if you and your spouse have lived separate and apart for more than 180 days.
A person authorized to notarize documents. In the instructions when you are told to sign something in front of a Notary Public it is because your signature must be notarized. The instructions sometimes refer to other signatures that need to be notarized. Do not sign something and then bring it to the notary. Instead, sign it in front of the notary. Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, 1200 Derek Drive, Suite 100, Hammond, Louisiana 70403, provides free Notarial services.
Plaintiff or Petitioner:
The person filing the divorce papers.
This means that you do not have a lawyer. Pro se means that you are handling your legal matter yourself.
This means you got back together. Reconciliation means the two of you got back together with the purpose of trying to resume the marriage.
Service and citation:
This forms package requires that the defendant spouse waive (give up) the right to service and citation. Service and citation is the formal act of a person authorized by law to bring the papers to the defendant spouse (if the spouse is in Louisiana) or, if the defendant spouse is out of state, having the papers sent in the way the law requires. These forms are only for people who can get the defendant spouse to sign an Acceptance of Service and Waiver of Citation and All Delays. The forms in this package are not for people who need to get the sheriff to serve the defendant spouse.
Your husband or your wife
HOW TO USE THESE FORMS:
You will need the following information before you start to complete the forms:
· Your full name.
· Your full address and telephone number.
· Name of the parish or county and state where you are now domiciled (live).
· Your spouse's full name.
· Your spouse's full address and telephone number.
· Name of the parish or county and state where your spouse is now domiciled (lives).
· Date when you were married.
· The name of the parish or county and the state where you were married.
· Date you and your spouse separated.
· Name of the parish or county and state where you last lived together as husband and wife.
· If you are female and filing for divorce, your maiden name, if you want the court to issue an order saying you can go back to using your maiden name.
Complete the online interview.
· Answer all of the questions during the computer interview for the forms package.
· Print out your work.
· It is recommended that you save the forms you draft (use a removable disk, memory device, or removable drive if you are using a public computer).
· Read all forms carefully.
· Check all names, dates, and other information. Make sure everything is right.
· If anything is wrong, start over! Use the program again and print out a new set of forms. Be sure you print out and save the new forms.
Completing the Petition, Verification, and In Forma Pauperis Application.
For this step you need the following forms completed:
· "Pro Se Petition for 103(1)Divorce - No Minor Children"
· "Verification" (this will be notarized at this point)
· "In Forma Pauperis" (this will be notarized).
The "In Forma Pauperis" form is not part of the computerized document program. You must get the "In Forma Pauperis" form ahead of time and fill it out on your own. You can find an "In Forma Pauperis" form online or at the office of the Clerk of Court at the courthouse. Here is a link to form online: http://www.lasc.org/rules/dist.ct/COURTRULESAPPENDIX8.0.pdf
Do notwait until you go to court to fill out your forms!
You need an adult witness to complete the final part of the "In Forma Pauperis" papers.
The witness must know you and your money situation.
The witness must be able to swear that he or she knows that you do not have the money to pay court costs in advance.
The witness must be willing to sign the "In Forma Pauperis" papers before a Notary Public.
The witness must be at least 18 years old.
The witness must have a picture ID.
· Complete the "In Forma Pauperis" form.
· Make sure all of the information asked for is correct and complete.
· Go to a Notary Public. Bring the following with you:
1. Your completed but unsigned "Pro Se Petition for 103(1) Divorce - No Minor Children."
2. The unsigned form called "Verification."
3. The unsigned "In Forma Pauperis" form.
4. The person who will witness your financial condition. Make sure that you and your witness each has a picture I.D.
· Sign the petition.
1. Sign the verification in front of the Notary Public.
2. Sign the In Forma Pauperis form in front of the Notary Public.
· Have your witness sign the In Forma Pauperis form in front of the Notary Public.
Make two photocopies of all of the papers you are going to file with the court. Remember to file with the court the signed original papers, not the copies.
For this step, you need the following forms completed:
· Pro Se Petition for 103(1) Divorce - No Minor Children (signed original and two copies).
· Verification - Signed and Notarized (original and two copies).
· In Forma Pauperis form - Signed, Witnessed, Notarized (original and one copy).
Bring these papers with you to the office of the Clerk of Court for the parish where you are going to file your case.
Remember, you have to file in the correct parish as well as in the correct judicial district.
Tell the clerk that you do not have a lawyer and that you are filing "pro se." Tell the clerk that you want to file your divorce "in forma pauperis."
Ask the clerk to file the "Pro Se Petition for 103(1) Divorce - No Minor Children," the form called "Verification," and the "In Forma Pauperis" form.
Write down the case number the clerk puts on the papers. You will need to put the case number on the other papers in your forms package.
Get the court clerk to stamp your copies of the form called "Pro Se Petition for 103(1) Divorce - No Minor Children," the form called "Verification," and the In Forma Pauperis form. Keep these stamped copies safe for your records.
Once the judge has signed the Order on the In Forma Pauperis form, the Clerk of Court's office will mail you a copy of your signed In Forma Pauperis (IFP) Order.
Important note: Your case is not officially filed until the judge signs the Order on the In Forma Pauperis application. If the judge rejects your application to proceed In Forma Pauperis, you will have to pay the filing fees and costs to go forward with your case. You can challenge the judge's refusal to let you file In Forma Pauperis, but this is hard to do without a lawyer. This package or program does not cover those issues.
If your "ORDER" for pauper status was denied by the Judge, no services will be provided by the Clerk's Office unless costs are paid.
Once you know that the judge signed the Order to grant your In Forma Pauperis application, go back to the courthouse. Ask the clerk for certified copies of the "Pro Se Petition for 103(1) Divorce - No Minor Children" and a certified copy of the "Verification." You will have to pay for these certified copies, which only the Clerk of Court can give out.
For this step, you need the following forms:
· Certified copy of the "Pro Se Petition for 103(1) Divorce - No Minor Children."
· Certified copy of the "Verification."
· "Acceptance of Service and Waiver of Citation and All Delays." (Make sure the form has the case number at the top written in by you and that you write in the date the case was filed and the case number in the blanks in the text.)
Give or mail your spouse the forms listed above. The blank form called "Acceptance of Service and Waiver of Citation and All Delays" must be filled in and signed by your spouse in front of a Notary Public! Have your spouse return the signed and notarized "Acceptance of Service and Waiver of Citation and All Delays" to you. The other forms are for your spouse to keep. If your spouse does not sign the "Acceptance of Service and Waiver of Citation and All Delays" in front of a Notary Public, or if you do not get this form back from your spouse, you cannot go forward with the divorce case using these forms and instructions.
For this step, you need the following forms:
· Defendant's signed and notarized "Acceptance of Service and Waiver of Citation and All Delays" (original and two copies).
· Motion for Preliminary Default (original and two copies, and make the case number is written in by you).
· Certificate, (this document is on the same page as the Order, and make sure you have the original and two copies, with the case number written in by you).
· Order (this document is on the same page as the Certificate, and make sure the case number is written in by you).
After you get the signed and notarized "Acceptance of Service and Waiver of Citation and All Delays" back from your spouse you need to complete the form called "Motion for Preliminary Default."
In the main part of the "Motion for Preliminary Default" form you need to write in the date the divorce was filed and the date the defendant's "Acceptance of Service and Waiver of Citation and All Delays" was signed and notarized, and you have to sign the Motion at the bottom of the page.
Take the four forms listed above to the office of the Clerk of Court.
Ask the court clerk to fill in the "Certificate." The judge will fill in and sign the part called "Order."
Ask the clerk to file the original documents and to stamp the copies. Keep the copies safe for your records.
The clerk will send you a copy of the Order for Preliminary Default once it is signed. Once you find out that the judge has signed the Order and that the judge granted your "Motion for Preliminary Default, wait at least two full business days. Weekends and holidays do not count as part of the two days.
During this time, take the "Affidavit of Correctness in Lieu of Testimony" and the "Affidavit of Witness" to a notary. Your witness must meet these conditions:
1. The witness must be at least 18 years old.
2. The witness must have a picture ID.
3. The witness must know that you and your spouse have been living separate and apart for the last 180 days and that you still remain apart, and the witness must know the other information in the "Affidavit of Witness."
The witness can be the same person who signed the income affidavit for your In Forma Pauperis form, or the witness can be someone else.
You must sign the "Affidavit of Correctness in Lieu of Testimony" in front the Notary Public and have it notarized. Your witness must sign the "Affidavit of Witness" in front of the notary and have it notarized.
Forms you need for this step:
· "Affidavit of Correctness in Lieu of Testimony" (completed, signed and notarized original and two copies with case number filled in by you).
· "Affidavit of Witness" (completed, signed and notarized original and two copies with case number filled in by you).
· "Motion for Confirmation of Divorce Judgment of Default without a Hearing," together with "Plaintiff's Certification" that appears at the end of the Motion (completed and signed original and two copies, with case number filled in by you).
· "Clerk's "Certification" The "Clerk's Certification" appears at the end of the "Motion for Confirmation of Divorce Judgment of Default without a Hearing." Leave this blank - you will ask the clerk to complete the "Clerk's Certification" when you bring your papers to court.
· "Judgment of 103(1) Divorce - No Minor Children" with the case information needed (you need to bring one extra copy for the court when you file the papers and two copies for yourself). The law requires that when you file these papers you give the court the original of the proposed Judgment and at least one additional copy of the proposed Judgment for the court.
No sooner than the third business day after the judge signed the Order of Preliminary Default, take these forms to the Clerk of Court.
Ask the clerk to complete the "Clerk's Certification" at the end of the "Motion for Confirmation of Divorce Judgment of Default without a Hearing."
Ask the clerk to file these papers and to give you your stamped copies for your records. Ask the clerk to give these papers to the judge so the judge can sign the Judgment.
Important Note: Some courts may ask that you write in your spouse's current address and your current address at the bottom of the Judgment, so make sure you have this address information with you when you go to the courthouse with your papers.
Once a judge has signed your "Judgment of 103(1) Divorce - No Minor Children," you are divorced. The clerk will mail you a certified copy of the Judgment of Divorce.
Keep the certified copy of your final divorce Judgment for your records!
Livingston Parish Clerk of Court
Thomas L. Sullivan, Jr.
Livingston Courthouse Location (Main):
20180 Iowa Street
1st Floor, Courthouse
Livingston, LA 70754
Denham Springs Location (Branch):
133 Aspen Square
Denham Springs, LA 70726
Telephone Numbers for both locations:
Voice 225.686.2216 Fax 225.686.1867
St. Helena Parish Clerk of Court
Beverly A. Gordon
Saint Helena Parish Clerk of Court
369 Sitman Street, Greensburg, LA 70441
Phone: (225) 222-4514 Fax: (225) 222-3443
P.O. Box 308
Greensburg, LA 70441
Fax: (225) 222-3443
Chief Deputy - Simon Claxton
Tangipahoa Parish Clerk of Court
Julian E. Dufreche
Clerk of Court, Tangipahoa Parish
110 North Bay Street, Suite 100
Amite, LA 70422
Telephone (985) 748-4146
Fax Line (985) 748-6503
Julian E. Dufreche
Clerk of Court
318-A NW Railroad Avenue
Hammond, LA 70401
Telephone (985) 549-1638
Fax Line (985) 549-1639
Click here for the forms for WOMEN filing for divorce.
Click here for the forms for MEN filing for divorce.