Fault vs. no-fault divorce in Louisiana

On Behalf of | Dec 13, 2019 | Firm News

Deciding to end a marriage is one that spurs a monumental change in a person’s life. Depending on the route you take your divorce can be relatively simple, or it can be a long and arduous process.

In Louisiana and some other states, spouses can either elect for a fault divorce or a no-fault divorce. In most states, a no-fault divorce is the only option.

There are pros and cons to both options. Choosing the best one depends on the needs and desires of everyone.

What is a fault divorce?

A fault divorce is when a spouse asks for it to be granted because of wrongdoing on the part of the other spouse.

These days, not many states recognize this form of divorce. In Louisiana, these are the grounds on which a fault divorce would be granted:

  • Infidelity
  • Criminal conviction or imprisonment

Pros and cons of a fault divorce

There are a couple of benefits of getting this kind of divorce:

  • There is no requirement to have been living apart before filing
  • Being able to prove fault could help the spouse that filed get a more substantial portion of marital property or more spousal support after the divorce is final

At the same time, there are some downsides:

  • Proving fault could take a while in court
  • The other spouse could attempt to blame you, which could extend the court process even more

What is a no-fault divorce?

On the other hand, a no-fault divorce is one in which there does not need to be proof of wrongdoing on either spouse’s part. No-fault divorce is recognized in all states. The most common grounds for this kind of divorce are:

  • Irreconcilable differences
  • Irreparable breakdown of the marriage

Pros and cons of no-fault divorce

The benefits of this kind of divorce are:

  • Since no one needs to prove fault, the process can move along more quickly
  • Because it moves more quickly, spouses can save on court costs and lawyer fees
  • There will be less conflict between the spouses

A con to this kind of divorce is:

  • In Louisiana, spouses must have been living separately for at least six months before filing

Depending on the couple, either form of divorce could be a good option. It is recommended to seek legal guidance from an experienced attorney to make the best decision for your unique situation.

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