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What are the requirements for getting a divorce in Louisiana?

When a couple in Louisiana considers getting a divorce, it's not as simple as filing a few papers and moving forward after the end of a marriage. There are legal issues that have to be dealt with and rules that must be followed. Understanding the law and its subsets when it comes to a divorce can make the process as smooth as possible whether there is an ongoing dispute, the split is amicable, or the divorce is somewhere in between.

If either spouse files a petition for divorce, there must be proof that the required amount of time has passed from the time the petition is served or when there was an execution of the written waiver of the serving of the petition. In addition, the couple must have lived separately for the required amount of time. There are other grounds for divorce according to state law. If the other spouse has committed adultery, then it is allowable to file for divorce. Divorce is also possible if the other spouse has been found guilty of a felony and was sentenced to die or sentenced to prison with hard labor.

If one spouse has committed physical or sexual abuse against the other spouse, or against child of one of the spouses - independent of whether or not that spouse faced prosecution for these acts - it is allowed to file for divorce. In the event there was a protective order or an injunction against the other spouse to protect the filing spouse or a child of one of the spouses from abuse, that is also grounds for divorce. It is important to remember the time periods that are relevant when filing for divorce. If there are no minor children, then 180 days must pass. Unless there is cause for the action, minor children being in the relationship will make it necessary to wait 365 days before the divorce can be granted.

The choice to end a marriage is not a small one and the state has certain protections are in place to make sure that the decision is well planned and all parties are protected. Once the decision has been made, however, it is important to have professional advice to avoid any errors with divorce legal issues.

Source: legis.la.gov, "Title V - Divorce Chapter 1. The Divorce Action," accessed June 16, 2015

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