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Divorce Laws in Louisiana

Louisiana has a six month waiting period, after proper service of papers, for divorce to be granted.

Residency and jurisdiction
The filing spouse must live in the State of Louisiana for at least one year prior to filing. The divorce may be filed in the parish where either spouse lives.

Fault or no fault or grounds for divorce
Louisiana grants fault and no fault divorce. No fault divorce can be obtained after a couple has lived apart continuously for at least six months before filing.
Acceptable grounds for fault are as follows:

  • Adultery
  • Felony conviction with a sentence of death or hard labor
  • Desertion for one year
  • Physical or sexual abuse of spouse or child
  • Living separately for two years
  • Living apart for one year of legal separation

Division of property
Louisiana is a community property state. Property is divided in half between spouses. The spouse who is granted child custody will be favored in the allocation of the family home. Factors taken into consideration when awarding the home include:

  • Value of spouse’s property
  • Economic needs of each spouse
  • Needs of the children
  • Contributions to the acquisition of community property
  • Future earning potential

Spousal support
In Louisiana if the spouse seeking support has been found to be at fault in the breakdown of the marriage he or she is not eligible for support. Fault of the spouse from which support is sought is irrelevant. The court must also consider the following factors:

  • Length of marriage
  • Needs of each spouse
  • Income and assets
  • Financial obligations
  • Earning capacity and the effect of child custody on earning capacity
  • Time necessary for the spouse seeking support to become self supporting, including time needed for education or training
  • Health and age
  • Tax consequences

Child custody and support
If parents cannot agree on custody, in Louisiana, the court may order mediation. In determining custody the court may consider the following:

  • Love, affection and other emotional ties between the child and each parent
  • Ability to give love, affection, an spiritual guidance to the child
  • Ability to continue the education of the child
  • Ability and willingness to provide food, clothing, medical care, and other material needs
  • The length of time the child has lived in a stable and adequate environment, with favor to maintaining that stability
  • Permanence, as a family unit, of each parent’s home
  • Moral fitness as it affects the welfare of the child
  • Mental and physical health of each parent
  • Child’s adjustment to home, school, and community
  • Wishes of the child, if the court feels the child is old enough to express a preference
  • Willingness to facilitate and encourage a close relationship with the other parent
  • Distance between the parents’ residences
  • Responsibility, care, and participation in rearing of the child by each parent

Louisiana follows the Income Shares Model for calculating child support.

If you are considering or facing divorce in Louisiana, contact an experienced Louisiana divorce attorney today.

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Disclaimer: Divorce law information contained throughout this page is intended to generally inform you about divorce law in Louisiana and introduce you to divorce lawyers throughout the U.S. The information regarding divorce and divorce law is not meant to be taken as legal advice. If you like to speak with an experienced divorce attorney, click on the link to your state to find an experienced divorce lawyer in your area for an initial consultation.
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