Divorce is a legal process where couples sever their marriage contract, following state laws. There are generally two grounds for dissolving a marriage in Louisiana: no-fault and fault-based.
In Louisiana, couples can file for a no-fault divorce if they have been living separate and apart for at least six months or for 365 days if the couple has children. A no-fault divorce does not require either party to prove that the other is at fault. Instead, the couple simply states that their marriage has irretrievably broken down, and they are unable to reconcile.
Given those circumstances, no-fault divorce usually takes a shorter time to be granted by the court. Couples will only need to work out property division, child custody and support arrangements before the divorce can be finalized.
A fault-based divorce, on the other hand, requires one party to prove that the other has committed an act that justifies dissolving the marriage. The grounds for a fault-based divorce in Louisiana are:
- Physical or sexual abuse
- Drug addiction or excessive alcoholism
- Committing a felony
If you choose to file for a fault-based divorce, you will need to have evidence to back up your claims. This means that the process may take longer and be more contentious than a no-fault divorce. You should also expect to spend more on legal fees, especially if an investigation needs to be conducted.
Deciding which to file
Both fault-based and no-fault divorces have their advantages and disadvantages. For instance, if your partner was abusive or misused marital assets to fund their affair, a fault-based divorce would be the better option as it would allow you to hold them accountable.
On the other hand, if you just want to move on with your life and avoid a lengthy and costly legal battle, then a no-fault divorce may be the way to go. Ultimately, the decision of which route to take depends on your particular circumstances.
While no one looks forward to going through a divorce, understanding the legal process can help make the experience less stressful.