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What are the grounds for divorce in Louisiana?

On Behalf of | Mar 19, 2024 | Divorce |

Marriage is a legal contract, so to end that agreement, there must be a ground or reason for the court to grant the request.

Couples looking to divorce in Louisiana have a few choices in what grounds to use. The options vary based on the circumstances of the relationship.

Living separately

Many couples will use the living separately grounds. It requires living in different homes for a certain amount of time, which varies depending on whether the couple has minor children. If the couple does not have children, they must live apart for 180 days before filing for divorce. However, if they have minor children, the separation period is 365 days. This requirement emphasizes the importance of living apart as a sign of irreconcilable differences.


If one spouse has committed adultery, it can serve as a basis for divorce. The law looks at being unfaithful to a spouse as causing irreparable damage to the relationship.

Criminal conviction

In cases where one spouse has a felony conviction with a sentence of life in prison or the death penalty, the other spouse may use this as a way to seek a divorce. This option recognizes the significant impact that such a conviction can have on the marriage and provides a legal avenue for the non-incarcerated spouse to end the marriage.

Abuse situations

Marriages involving physical or sexual abuse can also be grounds for divorce in Louisiana. Domestic violence is a serious issue that can have long-lasting effects. Seeking a divorce on these grounds can provide a way out of a dangerous and harmful situation.

Protective order

A protective order in place between the spouses or between one of the spouses and one of their children can serve as a valid reason to end a marriage. Protective orders protect individuals from harm, and if such an order is in place, it can indicate that the marriage is no longer safe or viable.

Louisiana’s divorce laws outline specific criteria that couples must meet to legally end their marriage. These grounds provide a framework for the court to help the judge make determinations about the divorce.

Schnaars Law Firm, LLC


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