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Could Louisiana end no-fault divorce?

On Behalf of | May 11, 2023 | Divorce |

Louisiana, like most states, allows couples to get a “no-fault” divorce. That means they can end a marriage without one spouse accusing another of infidelity, abandonment, abuse and other kinds of wrongdoing that are grounds for divorce here or in other states. They can choose to end their marriage because they’re no longer happy together. It doesn’t have to be anyone’s fault. 

No-fault divorces tend to be faster, less expensive and more amicable than fault divorces because no one has to provide evidence to support their accusations of their spouse. Spousal support and property division aren’t determined based on someone’s misdeeds or poor treatment of their spouse during the marriage.

In Louisiana, couples who choose a no-fault divorce only need to prove that they have lived apart for a specified period. That’s six months if they have no minor children and 12 months if they do.

What are the objections to no-fault divorce?

That could change if some Republicans in the Louisiana state legislature have their way. The Louisiana Republican State Central Committee has stated their wish to end no-fault divorce. 

Their membership, like some other conservatives across the country in and out of politics, have in recent years increased their calls to eliminate these laws that have for the most part become the norm. They claim that they weaken the institution of marriage and lead to child poverty. Only two states, Mississippi and South Dakota, currently don’t have a no-fault divorce option.

Even if the move to end no-fault divorce in Louisiana gains traction in the legislature, it’s likely to meet with pushback in the legal community. The courts would likely become crowded with long, ugly divorce battles. Even worse, as advocates for the continuation of no-fault divorce point out, it will make it more difficult for people to get out of unhealthy and even abusive marriages because of the time and money required.

It may seem like the chances of no-fault divorce being rolled back in Louisiana are slim. However, a lot of changes have taken place throughout the country in recent years that no one believed would happen. 

If you’re considering divorce, you currently have the option of choosing a fault divorce (if it’s appropriate) or a no-fault divorce. If you’re not certain which is best for you, having legal guidance from the outset can help you make this and other decisions.