Divorce Guidelines and Family Law in North Louisiana

Divorce in Louisiana is relatively easy unless you are one of the very few people who have opted for a covenant marriage. A covenant marriage is a unique form of marriage that only three states in the country – Louisiana, Arkansas and Arizona– have adopted. Spouse in a covenant marriage agree to pre-marriage classes and counseling and also legally forfeit many of the grounds normally accepted for divorce. However, in Louisiana only about 1% of all marriages qualify as covenant marriages.

Grounds for Divorce under Family Law in North Louisiana

With the exception of covenant marriages, there are only two requirements for seeking a divorce in Louisiana:

  • You must be a resident of Louisiana for a minimum of six months. This rule prevents people from moving to Louisiana for the sole purpose of seeking a simple divorce when their home states have stricter requirements.
  • You must establish one of the five grounds for divorce under Louisiana law which are: living separate and apart for 180 days or 365 days if you have a minor child; your spouse committed adultery; your spouse is convicted of a felony and sentenced to imprisonment at hard labor or death; your spouse physically or sexually abused you or your minor child; or a protective order was issued against your spouse to protect you or your minor child from abuse.

Thus, in normal circumstances, qualifying to file for a divorce under family law in north Louisiana is as simple as moving to a new living space with the intent of staying apart.

Covenant Marriage and Divorce

  • Although covenant marriage is designed to discourage divorce, it does not prevent it. In Louisiana, after undergoing counseling to attempt to preserve the marriage, you may obtain a divorce of a covenant marriage if your spouse committed adultery; your spouse is convicted of a felony and sentenced to imprisonment at hard labor or death; your spouse abandoned the family home for one year and constantly refuses to return home; the spouses have lived separate and apart for two years without reconciliation; or lived separate and apart for one year without reconciliation after a judgment of separation was granted.
  • The only exception to the required counseling prior to divorce in a covenant marriage is if you seek divorce because your spouse physically or sexually abused you or your minor child.

This means that outside of domestic violence situations, family law in north Louisiana complicates, prolongs, and sometimes prevents dissolution of convenient marriages as there must be evidence of counseling to preserve the marriage. This could allow a spouse to maintain the legal marriage for years despite the desire of their partner to end the relationship and move on with their lives.

Speak Your Mind

*