Louisiana Divorce Laws 6

In: Louisiana

Divorce Law Basics in the State of Louisiana

Louisiana State Divorce Code (Civil Code 103) (legis.state.la.us)

Louisiana allows couples to choose which laws will govern their divorce in the event the marriage ends. This choice is made before the marriage ceremony takes place and the couple may choose between a simple no-fault divorce or what is called a “covenant marriage“.

If they choose the no fault option, they must still wait the designated separation period before the divorce can proceed and they are not able to allege additional ground in the event that a divorce does occur.

Should they choose the covenent marriage, both parties must agree to pre-marital counseling and have limited grounds to choose from in the event the marriage goes sour.

No-Fault Grounds:

  • The spouses have lived apart for at least 180 days prior to filing and there are no children
  • The spouses have lived apart for at least 1 year
  • Adultery

At-Fault Grounds (Covenant Marriage):

  • Adultery
  • Conviction of a felony with a sentence of death or imprisonment
  • Abandonment for at least one year with the refusal to return
  • Physical abuse or sexual abuse of the complaining spouse or a child within the family
  • Living apart for at least two years without reconciliation
  • Living apart for at least one year from the date the legal separation was signed, without reconciliation

Residency: Filing party must have been a resident continuously for 1 year or more prior to filing.

Legal Separation Recognized? Yes.

Counseling Requirements: The Court may require parents to attend parental education classes in the event of a custody dispute.

Property Distribution: Louisiana is a community property state. You and your spouse may influence the distribution of marital property by creating a separate agreement; otherwise, the court will distribute the property equally.

Alimony: Alimony may be awarded to either party and is at the discretion of the judge.

Also See: Louisiana Marriage Laws


  • tahnya

    this is insane I was beat by my spouse and he drinks every day and i have to wait a year to get divorce piss on louisiana!!!! Louisiana wants women to die before they can get a divorce and some peace….

    • CM

      Yes it is, but may sister is in the same situation, problem is, she has lived in TX for two months, her husband has been gone most of the year for the last several years, he just came in for his a 14 day leave from Bangrum, 1 day into his arrival, he tore the house up, slap her around, the cops believe him that he didnt lay a hand on her because she wasn’t bleeding and had no visable signs besides crying, they didnt even file a report but told her that the way the house looked (becuase he trashed the place), if they came out again they would contact socail services. Not to mention they told her because she was the one that felt unsafe with him, she could leave the property with any animals she wanted, pictures on the fridge, kids medicine (for the 4 children) and the kids…that was it. He continues to call multiple times throu out the day and night, tells her and threatens, destroying hers and the kids property, and throwing out what ever he wants and to make matters worse…She cant do nothing about it, So she was told by authorities. She could file a protective order but until the filed petition clears the court, he can stay in the house. Communitive property, civil case. So far she has yet to find an attorney in TX or LA to take the case because he controls everything. He has controled everything for the last, um 4years or so, especially money. She cant get a job because he finds out where she went and then contacts them, and she either wont get called back or they say the offer is already taken. Make matters worse only one lawyer in louisina so far, said they would take on the case because of the situation and because he is on contract with the us military overseas, they want 4500 up front, 900 per hour, even if she is only there for 10 minutes…bam 900. When she told them again, “he controlls the money, and everything, I have nothing, they told her…well either go back and wait it out or file through state representatives”, but the LA state wont touch it because it envolves military. So in the last four days, it has turned into @#$%.

      • Concerned

        Tell your sister to call jag and her husbands commander. The military does not tolerate this sort of thing. Jag will help her. Also tell her to leave immediately and go to a shelter is. There are witnesses at a shelter if he comes to abuse her there. After she is safe then worry about the divorce.

  • Tina Mariette

    If you are in an abusive situation, you can contact the court and get an order of protection. That way you have 18 months protection while you wait the one year. Women who can afford a lawyer sometimes have to wait longer trying to save up, because I don’t think there is an official standard form for anything in Louisiana. You are pretty much on your own unless the court publishes their own, and most online sites don’t have anything you can use in state either. There is only one site I know of that does, but it is pretty limited. JustTheForms.Com it has forms for uncontested simple divorces, grandparents visitation, and some custody forms you can use if you already have a court order, like motion for contempt and civil warrants. I guess there are no other forms because every case is so different, nothing is really standard. Still, something is better than nothing. Get protection, then divorce if you don’t have any other choice. Good luck.


    I have a co worker who is still living with her husband and expects the divorce to be final in july even tho they haven’t signed legal separation papers and haven’t lived apart and if you wouldn’t know they seem like a married couple with a kid. Is she going to get her divorce without having lived separately for a year?

  • sharron petticd

    My son in law changed the locked daughter out of their apt. changed the locks on the door and picked her and her children clothes without letting her know that he was going to do it can he lock her and children out and pick their clothes. without notice.