Divorce is a complex and emotional process, especially when one spouse feels wronged by their partner. In Louisiana, the concept of fault can play a significant role in the outcome of divorce.
Understanding the role of fault in divorce can help you plan your next steps during this challenging time.
Grounds for fault-based divorce
Louisiana recognizes both fault-based and no-fault grounds for divorce. Fault-based grounds include adultery, felony conviction with hard labor, one-year abandonment, physical or sexual abuse and living apart due to a protective order. Forbes reports that infidelity is the most common type of fault-based divorce, cited in 34% of cases.
Impact on property division
Courts may consider fault when determining how to divide assets and liabilities between spouses. When the judge finds one spouse at fault, they may award a larger share of community property to the other spouse. If one partner had an affair or conducted illegal activity, they may be solely responsible for the resulting debt.
Fault can also influence the court’s decision about alimony, or spousal support. The judge may order the at-fault to pay alimony to the innocent spouse. The specific grounds for fault can also influence the amount and duration of alimony.
Child custody and support
State courts prioritize the best interests of the child in custody decisions. However, fault can impact custody and visitation if one parent engages in domestic violence or substance abuse. The judge will consider how the at-fault parent’s actions affect the child’s well-being.
Individuals contemplating divorce in Louisiana should be aware of how fault can influence the legal outcomes to make informed decisions.