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

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