Divorce in Louisiana can be based on either fault or no-fault grounds. It's safe to say the majority of dissolutions will be "no-fault" divorces simply because it's the path of least resistance. The reason you might want to use fault grounds is to gain an advantage in a contested child custody case or a dispute about the division of marital property or the appropriateness or amount of alimony.
"No fault" divorce describes any divorce where the spouse asking for a divorce does not have to prove that the other spouse did something wrong. All states allow no fault divorces. That said, you can go the fault route in Louisiana or you can base your divorce on the fact that you've been separated from your spouse for at least six months.
The main provisions of Louisiana's divorce laws are listed in the table below.
|Code Section||Civ. Code §§102-104|
|Waiting Period||Must live separate and apart for 180 days after filing or service of petition|
|'No Fault' Grounds for Divorce||Separation (for at least 6 mos.).|
|Defenses to a Divorce Filing||Reconciliation.|
|Other Grounds for Divorce||Adultery; conviction of felony.|
Note that Louisiana is a community property state. This means that any income earned by either spouse during the marriage, and all property bought with those earnings, are considered marital property that is owned equally by each spouse or partner. At divorce, the property is divided equally between the spouses or partners. There are also alternatives to the standard divorce under Louisiana law known as an annulment and legal separation.
If you and your spouse have children, you should be aware of Louisiana child custody laws, as well as state laws pertaining to child support guidelines and child support enforcement. Whatever you decide, remember that there is support and resources available that can help you through the dissolution of your marriage.
Preparing for a Louisiana Divorce
A divorce can be an emotionally and legally difficult process for anyone to go through. You may find that consulting with an attorney can help in dealing with both your soon-to-be ex-spouse and the divorce paperwork. If you’d like to continue more of your own research, you can find more general information in FindLaw’s Divorce section.
Louisiana Divorce Laws: Related Resources
Not Sure Where to Begin? Get a Free Divorce Case Evaluation
As discussed above, it's often in your best interests to consult with an attorney when going through the divorce process, particularly when the other party is represented. Before you commit, though, have a Louisiana divorce lawyer evaluate your case for free, with absolutely no contractual obligations.
Contact a qualified attorney.