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Fault-based divorce could assist with child custody, alimony

Most people have heard of divorce being granted due to irreconcilable differences. In Louisiana, this method of divorce is known as 'no-fault' divorce. Through this route, parties do not have to prove that the other spouse did anything wrong. The vast majority of marriage dissolutions follow this path, as no-fault divorces often provide the least resistance and allow parties to quickly end the relationship and settle pending family law matters. Yet, pursing a divorce on no-fault grounds is not the only option available to Louisianans.

In fact, depending on the particular circumstances at hand, pursuing a divorce based on other grounds may be in one's best interests. This is particularly true if an individual is going to be seeking child custody, a disproportional distribution of marital property, and/or spousal support. A spouse who can show that his or her significant other caused the divorce may be more likely to obtain sole custody of the couple's child and recover larger assets and alimony payments.

There may be many ways to prove fault in a divorce, but the most common method is to prove adultery. A felony conviction can also give rise to a fault-based divorce ground. It may sound easy, but proving these matters, especially adultery, can be difficult, which is why those individuals looking to utilize this method need to ensure that they know how to handle a legal case. Evidence will likely need to be gathered and presented in court, and witnesses will need to be questioned and cross-examined. Failing to properly carry out these tasks could result in an unfavorable outcome.

It is worth noting that a defending party to a fault divorce can claim that the divorce should not be granted because the couple is working on reconciliation. He or she may also claim that statutory requirements that must be met prior to divorce being granted have not been adhered to. This includes the mandatory separation period. To learn more about fault divorces and how to properly pursue them, Louisianans can consider speaking with a family law attorney.

Source: FindLaw, "Louisiana Divorce Laws," accessed on Apr. 7, 2017

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