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Friday, 8 January

What are Grounds for a Divorce?

There Are Four Grounds For Divorce In Louisiana:

Living Separate and Apart Before or After Filing of Petition

Living separate and apart after filing of petition: Once a petition for divorce is filed, if the parties remain separate and apart without reconciliation, either spouse may ask the court for a divorce 180 days after the petition for divorce was served or a written waiver of service was filed in the record.

The 180-day waiting period requirement cannot be waived. The action can be defeated if the parties reconcile _ resume living together with a mutual intent to resume the marriage at any time during the waiting period. Certain procedural formalities are required.

Living separate and apart before filing of petition: If the spouses have lived separate and apart, continuously and without reconciliation, for six months or more, either spouse may file a petition for divorce.

The Other Spouse Commits Adultery

Adultery on the part of the other spouse is grounds for an immediate divorce; there is no required waiting period. The burden of proof is on the party alleging the adultery and is very strict. Corroborative testimony is normally required and it must be proven that the other spouse engaged in sexual relations with another person.

Conviction of a Felony

If the other spouse has committed a felony and has been sentenced to death or imprisonment at hard labor, a petition for divorce can be filed. The facts of conviction and sentencing are the only proof requirements; appeals and actual serving of the sentence are immaterial.

Declaration of Nullity

A marriage can be judicially declared null and void when the consent of one of the spouses was not freely given at the time of the marriage. The right to ask for this declaration of nullity is lost if the complaining spouse subsequently “confirmed” the marriage.
A marriage is absolutely null, and therefore considered as never having occurred, if:

* the marriage was contracted without a ceremony;
* stand-ins were used (procuration);
* it is a bigamous marriage;
* it is between people of the same sex; or
* precluded by familial relationship.

Because these types of marriages are absolutely null, there is no need for a judicial declaration.