Monday, March 28, 2016

Requirements for Divorce in Louisiana

William “Bill” Arata, the owner and senior partner of the Arata & Arata Law Office, builds on more than 20 years of experience with the firm. In that time, Bill Arata has represented clients in numerous divorce cases.

A couple may file for divorce in Louisiana once they have resided in the state for at least one year and have lived separately for a minimum of 180 days, provided that the couple has no minor children. Couples with children must live in separate residences for a minimum of one year. Most couples who fulfill this requirement do not need to state their grounds for divorce, unless they are in a covenant marriage.

Available only in Arkansas, Arizona, and Louisiana, a covenant marriage sets forth limited reasons for seeking divorce. These include adultery and a felony conviction, which may also be grounds for divorce in a non-covenant marriage. Couples in a covenant marriage also have the option to seek divorce on the grounds of physical or sexual abuse of children or a spouse, abandonment of the marital home, or separation for a minimum of two years. If a separation agreement exists, the couple may divorce after 12 to 18 months, depending on the absence or presence of minor children.

Divorce from a covenant marriage also requires marital counseling and a waiting period of two years. Couples agree to these terms when they sign the Declaration of Intent that defines the covenant marriage as a sacred agreement to live as husband and wife for the remainder of their lives.