Louisiana does not require fault to obtain a divorce. This means that either spouse can petition the court for a divorce and the divorce shall be granted upon proof that the requisite periods of time have elapsed. Refer to the Divorce Process for a more detailed explanation. The requisite period of time is 365 days if you have children and 180 days if you do not. The other spouse cannot force you to stay married or go to marriage counseling. If you want a divorce, you can get one.
Louisiana Civil Code article 103 lists other grounds of divorce which are considered legal fault. If you carry your burden in proving these grounds, then you do not need to separate for the 365 or 180 day requisite period of time.
The Court shall grant the divorce upon proof of the following: .
(1) The other spouse has committed adultery.
(2) The other spouse has committed a felony and has been sentenced to death or imprisonment at hard labor.
(3) During the marriage, the other spouse physically or sexually abused the spouse seeking divorce or a child of one of the spouses, regardless of whether the other spouse was prosecuted for the act of abuse.
(4) After a contradictory hearing or consent decree, a protective order or an injunction was issued during the marriage, in accordance with law, against the other spouse to protect the spouse seeking the divorce or a child of one of the spouses from abuse.
Getting a divorce based on fault has some advantages, like barring a spouse from permanent spousal support or allowing you to recover attorney’s fees and costs from the other party; however, it depends on the circumstances and may not always be worth the additional costs and/or emotional toll that you endure in having a fault trial.
To weigh your options and advantages with an experienced attorney at De St. Germain Law Office today, at (985) 718-4550, or by email to schedule a free initial consultation.