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What are the grounds for divorce in Louisiana?

On Behalf of | Dec 13, 2022 | Divorce

You don’t generally need any sort of reason to get married. Louisiana state law permits lawful adults to secure a marriage license for any reason they want or for no reason whatsoever. However, filing for divorce or seeking the legal end to a marriage requires a legal justification.

Louisiana has two different kinds of marriages. Standard, non-covenant marriages are eligible for divorce proceedings in a handful of specific situations. Covenant marriages have to meet ever stricter requirements for divorce.

Understanding when you have grounds to file for divorce under Louisiana state law will help you take the right steps if you desire to exit an unhealthy and unhappy marriage.

Divorce for fault-based grounds

There are multiple scenarios in which supposed to Louisiana can file for divorce by claiming that the other spouse engaged in a significant form of misconduct. If you have evidence of adultery or physical or sexual abuse of you or your children, you can file for a fault-based divorce. The state will also grant a divorce to those whose spouse must serve a lengthy jail sentence for a felony conviction.

No-fault divorce or separation-based divorce

If you don’t want to stand up in court and accuse your spouse of abuse or other misconduct but still desire a divorce, a legal separation may be necessary. When a couple files for divorce without children, they can file based on separation if they have lived in separate households for at least 180 days. Couples with children typically need to remain separated for at least a year before they can move forward with a separation-based divorce, which is the Louisiana equivalent of no-fault divorce.

What about covenant marriages?

Those in covenant marriages specifically take steps when they first get married to make divorce harder to achieve. Couples in a covenant marriage have agreed to undergo marriage counseling if they encounter serious issues.

There are more limits on why such a couple can legally separate or file for divorce. The grounds for divorce include adultery, the commission of a felony, abandonment that lasts at least a year, physical or sexual abuse or a two-year separation. The separation period may be shorter in certain, special situations.

Learning more about the family law statutes that apply to Louisiana couples considering divorce will help you the best approach for your family.