Much confusion exists regarding legal separation and divorce. Legal separation is a relic from Louisiana’s old fault-based divorce scheme. Now that no-fault divorce is available, legal separation is virtually obsolete.
The legal grounds for divorce do generally require that the spouses live apart for a period of time. However, this requirement is different from the concept of legal separation, which allows spouses to handle issues such as property division, alimony and child custody without legally ending the marriage.
Legal separation does still come into play in covenant marriages. A covenant marriage is a unique type of legal union that couples may opt to enter under Louisiana law. In essence, it makes divorce more difficult, generally requiring fault-based grounds for ending the marriage. Those grounds include:
If you are in a covenant marriage but are not able to establish legal grounds for a divorce, legal separation may be an alternative. Legal separation is a way to establish that the relationship is ending. It is also a prerequisite for seeking divorce down the road. Instead of having to live separately for two years before pursuing divorce, legal separation will shorten that time period.
The laws in Louisiana regarding covenant marriage and legal separation are highly intricate. Because so few other states provide covenant marriage — and because covenant marriages are relatively rare — it is critical to seek guidance from an attorney with experience in this niche area.
Our lawyer, Betsy A. Fischer, has the experience and insight you need to successfully navigate separation and divorce. For more than 20 years, she has provided step-by-step guidance for clients throughout Louisiana. You can turn to our firm for trusted, reliable counsel.
Learn more by contacting Betsy A. Fischer, LLC. Call 504-780-8232 to schedule a private consultation.