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Louisiana Divorce Laws

Divorce in Louisiana can be based on either fault or no-fault grounds. It's safe to say the majority of dissolutions will be "no-fault" divorces simply because it's the path of least resistance. The reason you might want to use fault grounds is to gain an advantage in a contested child custody case or a dispute about the division of marital property or the appropriateness or amount of alimony.

This article provides a brief overview of Louisiana divorce laws.

Louisiana Divorce Laws: At a Glance

"No-fault" divorce describes any divorce where the spouse asking for a divorce does not have to prove that the other spouse did something wrong. All states allow no-fault divorces. That said, you can go the fault route in Louisiana or you can base your divorce on the fact that you've been separated from your spouse for at least six months.

The main provisions of Louisiana's divorce laws are listed in the table below.

Code Section

§ 102 et seq. of the Louisiana Civil Code

Residency Requirements


Waiting Period

Must live separate and apart for 180 days after filing or service of petition, unless you have kids, in which case the waiting period is 365 days

'No-Fault' Grounds for Divorce

Separation (for at least 6 months)

Defenses to a Divorce Filing


Other Grounds for Divorce

Adultery; conviction of a felony and has been sentenced to death or imprisonment at hard labor; physical or sexual abuse; after a consent decree, a protective order, or an injunction was issued during the marriage to keep one spouse protected from abuse or to protect a child from abuse

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Preparing for a Louisiana Divorce

Louisiana is a community property state. This means that any income earned by either spouse during the marriage, and all property bought with those earnings, are considered marital property that is owned equally by each spouse or partner. During the divorce, the property is divided equally between the spouses or partners. There are also alternatives to the standard divorce under Louisiana law known as an annulment and legal separation.

If you and your spouse have children, you should be aware of Louisiana child custody laws, as well as state laws pertaining to child support guidelines and child support enforcement. Whatever you decide, remember that there are support and resources available that can help you through the dissolution of your marriage.

A divorce can be an emotionally and legally difficult process for anyone to go through. You may find that consulting with an attorney can help in dealing with both your soon-to-be ex-spouse and the divorce paperwork. If you'd like to continue more of your own research, you can find more general information in FindLaw's Divorce section.

Louisiana Divorce Laws: Related Resources

Not Sure Where to Begin? Get Professional Help With Your Divorce

As discussed above, it's often in your best interests to consult with an attorney when going through the divorce process, particularly when the other party is represented. An attorney will know how to negotiate with opposing counsel and will fight zealously to protect your interests.

Contact an experienced Louisiana divorce attorney today.

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