Can I get a divorce when one spouse lives out-of-state? I am asked this question frequently, and the answer is – Yes, you can! As long as you meet certain requirements, the fact that you or your spouse lives out-of-state has no impact on your divorce.  I am going to focus on uncontested divorces for this blog article. However, contested divorces may also be accomplished when one party lives out of state.


You will be entitled to file your divorce case in Louisiana if you meet one of the following requirements:

1.    You live in Louisiana;*

2.    Your spouse lives in Louisiana;* or

3.    The last place that you lived with your spouse was in Louisiana.

The Uncontested Divorce process is essentially the same when you or your spouse live out-of-state.  You can get more information here about the uncontested divorce process.


Once your petition for divorce is filed with the court, your spouse will need to sign what is called a Waiver of Service in the presence of a notary and return to your attorney for filing with the court. Your spouse will have to locate a local notary for the signing. Once your spouse signs and returns the notarized waiver of service, you will not need anything else from your spouse. A couple more pleadings will be filed with the court and you will be divorced.

Sometimes your spouse may refuse to sign the Waiver of Service or may have some health or transportation issue that prevents him/her from making it to a notary’s office. You can still obtain an uncontested divorce when your spouse does not have access to a notary. You will have to obtain service on your spouse through signature delivery of the citation and certified petition for divorce. Once your spouse signs for the delivery, your attorney will file an “Affidavit of Service.” The affidavit of service tells the court that service was accomplished. You will then have to wait thirty days from filing to proceed with your divorce. A couple of pleadings later and you will be divorced.


Filing your uncontested divorce when you live out of the state is not much different than when you live in the state. Obviously, you cannot go down to your attorney’s office to sign your paperwork, but you will be able to complete all steps remotely. Rotharmel Shanks, LLC has an electronic intake process and is able to manage your entire case remotely. The only issue will be in signing your paperwork that requires notarization. You will need to locate a local notary to notarize the required paperwork and return to your attorney for filing with the court.

Regardless of whether you or your spouse live out of the state, you can obtain an uncontested divorce in Louisiana as long as you meet the requirements listed above. Contact a Louisiana Divorce attorney to get started on or with any questions regarding your divorce.

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