The Fault-Based Divorce in Louisiana

Louisiana is typically a "No Fault Divorce State"-meaning, neither Party need have committed some egregious act of "fault" (adultery, abuse, etc.) in order to be able to obtain a divorce. Parties may mutually agree to get a divorce, or one Party may obtain it against the other Party's wishes. Since Louisiana requires a generous period of living separate and apart before Parties can obtain such a "No Fault Divorce," however, there are still provisions on the books that allow a Party in special circumstances to obtain a more immediate divorce based upon the other Party's fault.

There are 2 instances in which a Party may obtained a so-called "Fault-Based Divorce":

The first, and most common, is the "Adultery Divorce." This is of course exactly what it sounds like. A Party may obtain a divorce without waiting the requisite time period of separation if they file a Petition for Divorce Based on Adultery, and then they subsequently specifically prove with corroborating evidence that their spouse committed adultery prior to the date of filing of the Petition. Said proof must be put on at a trial in front of a Judge. Many Parties prefer not to go this route, even if their spouse did cheat, in an effort to avoid the public disclosure of their personal matters, as divorce pleadings are filed into the public record, and court rooms are typically open forums, unless the presiding Judge decides to close the proceedings. However, this is a viable option for any Party who wants to obtain an immediate divorce based upon their spouse committing adultery.

The second type of "Fault-Based Divorce" is the "Felony-Conviction Divorce." If a Party has been convicted of a felony and sentenced to death or imprisonment at hard labor, their spouse may obtain an immediate divorce upon filing the requisite divorce pleadings and proving the conviction and of sentence incarceration/death.