The decision to seek a divorce never comes easily, and in Louisiana, the rules to get a divorce do not necessarily make granting one simple. While the law is not overly complex, you have choices to make when you file.

Before initiating the process, you may want to take a look at three elements of the Louisiana divorce law. Doing so may help you understand how the process is going to occur so you can prepare yourself.

  1. Mandatory separation period

Before a divorce decree can issue, meaning the divorce is final, a couple with children must live apart for one year. Couples without children can get their divorce finalized after only living separately for six months.

  1. Reasons for the divorce

When serving divorce papers, you must cite the reason you seek divorce. Louisiana allows for a fault-based divorce and a no-fault divorce. In the latter, you do not need to do more than refer to the fact you have lived apart for the requisite amount of time. In a fault-based divorce, you want the court to recognize one of the parties is to blame for the demise of the relationship either due to infidelity or criminal conviction. This kind of divorce can take longer to become final, but it can turn out better for the innocent party if the judge agrees the other person is to blame.

  1. Special provisions for covenant marriage

Couples in a covenant marriage can also get a divorce, but they must go through counseling before filing. They must also cite a reason for the divorce, which may include one of the following:

  • Infidelity
  • Criminal felony conviction
  • Abuse of the innocent spouse or children
  • Abandonment of a year or more
  • Legal separation for at least one year (up to two years for some)

Taking a look at the laws before filing may seem overwhelming, but it is a good idea to see what is in store. You can also speak to a lawyer to help you through the process and give you more insight on what to expect.