What is a no-fault divorce in Louisiana?

What is a no-fault divorce in Louisiana?

There are many decisions to be made when filing for divorce. One of the most important is to determine whether you are filing for a fault-based or no-fault divorce in Louisiana. This choice will impact how you petition for divorce, the timeline, and potentially, the cost.no fault divorce louisiana

Working with an experienced divorce attorney in Lake Charles can speed up the process by allowing a third party to mediate major issues.

The Johnson Firm has helped couples divorce without additional strain for decades. Call (337) 433-1414 today to book a consultation.


No-fault Divorce in Louisiana

No-fault divorces are more common than fault-based divorces. In these cases, the petitioning spouse does not have to prove any fault on the part of the other spouse. They typically cite “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for the breakdown of their marriage. To be granted a no-fault divorce in Louisiana, spouses must prove that they have lived “separate and apart” continuously for”

  • At least 180 days if the spouses do not have a child under 18 years old
  • At least 365 days if the spouses have a child who is under 18 years old.


If a petitioning spouse files a no-fault divorce, their spouse cannot object to the divorce petition. The only way to object or stop the proceedings is to prove that the separation period has not run or that the parties reconciled.  

Get the support you need from a divorce attorney in Louisiana. Call us today at (337) 433-1414 for a consultation.


What is a fault-based divorce in Louisiana?

Fault-based divorces are less common than no-fault divorces in Louisiana. When petitioning for a fault-based divorce, the filing spouse must request the divorce due to the fault of their spouse. This means that they are accusing the other spouse of being at fault for the breakdown of their marriage.

Fault-based divorces are more complicated proceedings. The filing spouse must prove their ex-partner’s fault in court. This can include providing evidence of incarceration, abuse, or adultery.

Individuals choose to endure a fault-based divorce because they are considered “immediate” divorces. Thus, there is no waiting period or required time of separation before the judgment of divorce can be granted.  Further, proving fault may impact other areas of the divorce proceedings like spousal support.  


Grounds for a Fault-Based Divorce

If you are filing a fault-based divorce, you must have an adequate reason as defined by law. The grounds for a fault-based divorce are:

  • Adultery
  • Imprisonment or death sentence
  • Sexual, physical, or emotional abuse – regardless of whether or not the spouse was prosecuted for this abuse
  • A protective order was issued to protect the petitioning spouse or a child


Separation Requirements to File for Divorce in Louisiana

In Louisiana, a fault-based divorce petition does not require a waiting period. This allows spouses to seek a judgment for divorce quicker. However, being granted the divorce can take longer due to the need to prove their ex-partner’s fault.

No-fault divorce petitions in Louisiana require that the spouses live apart for a statutory waiting period. This period is one year if the spouses have minor children, or six months if they do not have minor children.

If the spouses rekindle their relationship at any point, the waiting period must restart upon their next separation

During the statutory waiting period, the spouses must live separately.


No-Fault Divorce Residency Requirements in Louisiana

States have specific residency requirements for individuals filing for divorce. In Louisiana, a spouse wanting to file for divorce must be able to prove that they are domiciled in Louisiana.  If the spouse has resided in Louisiana for at least six months then a presumption exists that they are domiciled in Louisiana.

It is important to file for divorce in the state that you live in. Every matter regarding your divorce has to be heard in the same court where the petition was filed. Even matters years down the line, such as amending child support or custody agreements, will likely need to return to the same courthouse. 


Is a no-fault or fault-based divorce better?

There is no “better” in terms of no-fault and fault-based divorces. The decision to pursue either type of divorce depends entirely on the individual’s situation.

For example, a spouse who has caught their partner having an affair may be better suited for a fault-based divorce, while two spouses who have grown apart would be better suited for a no-fault divorce. Fault and no-fault can also impact other issues ancillary to the divorce, so you should consult with an attorney prior to making this decision.

If you are unsure which type of divorce is right for you, contact The Johnson Firm. Our skilled divorce attorneys will evaluate your situation and advise you on the best course of action. 

Call today at (337) 433-1414 to speak with us.


Whether You Are Filing for a Fault-Based or No-Fault Divorce in Louisiana, an Attorney Can Help

Filing for divorce is challenging. You shouldn’t have to do it alone. Hire a Lake Charles family law attorney who will be on your side, defending your rights throughout the process.

The Johnson Firm knows that this is a milestone many people never see coming. That’s why we provide patient, compassionate services to help you move through the process. Call us today for a consultation.

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