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No Fault Divorce
Louisiana offers the option to obtain a No Fault divorce. It is not necessary to prove any fault to obtain a divorce. Most divorces are accomplished on a No Fault basis. This allows for a divorce without the necessity of ugly accusations, acrimony, or the spouses having to testify against one another.
To obtain a No Fault divorce in Louisiana, one only needs to live separate and apart from their spouse for the required time period:
- 180 days if the married couple has no children under the age of 18
- 365 days if there are minor children (under 18) of the marriage
The time period of living separate and apart can be accomplished before the filing of divorce (commonly known as a “103” divorce, referring to LA Civil Code Article 103) or after (commonly known as a “102” divorce, referring to LA Civil Code Article 102). Due to the ongoing potential liability for a spouse’s debts, it is recommended that filing a petition for divorce take place as soon as there is a physical separation, presuming the party is sure they wish to proceed with a divorce.
There are 3 grounds for Fault divorce in Louisiana:
- Conviction of a felony and has been sentenced to death or imprisonment at hard labor
- Domestic violence/physical or sexual abuse
In a Fault divorce, there is no requirement the parties live separate and apart for a time period prior to divorce. The divorce can be obtained at a hearing where proof is given to the Court that an immediate divorce should be granted due to the fault of the other party.
Covenant Marriage Divorce Proceedings
Couples who have opted into a Louisiana “Covenant Marriage” are subject to different requirements to obtain a divorce.
Other Issues Handled by the Court
Along with any divorce action, the Court may resolve any other issues of the couple such as:
- Child Custody
- Child Support
- Spousal Support (“Alimony”)
- Use of the marital home pending the divorce
- Division of community property assets
- Protective Orders (in domestic violence situations)
Katherine L. Hurst has extensive experience in all steps in the various types of Louisiana divorce proceedings.
What if my spouse won’t sign for or agree to a divorce?
A common misperception, often portrayed on television, is that one spouse can stop the divorce by refusing to sign the divorce judgment or by refusing to agree to the divorce. If you can prove either a No Fault ground or a Fault ground exists, the Court can grant you a divorce against your spouse whether or not they consent to the divorce.