How does adultery affect my Louisiana divorce?

   How does adultery affect the divorce?

Adultery is one of the most sensitive topics that we regularly face in divorce proceedings.  Unless you have been there, it is hard to describe the strong emotional reaction involved when adultery arises in a marriage.  Our clients often bring up the fact that either they or their spouse committed adultery.  Our clients mistakenly believe that they need to assert fault in order to get a divorce.  This is no longer the case in Louisiana.

Adultery today plays a very minor role in a divorce.  In fact, the only place it will come in is if one of the spouses asserts or seeks final spousal support.  One way to avoid final spousal support is to allege and prove that the spouse asking for final spousal support was at fault in breaking up the marriage.  One way to prove fault is to prove adultery.  This is almost the only way that adultery will have any legal consequence on your divorce proceedings.  We completely understand that when adultery occurs, it is a hugely significant factor in your life.  However, its role in the divorce is minimal.

A second way in which adultery can affect your divorce is that it may allow you to seek a divorce more quickly than you would otherwise.  For example, if you have children from your marriage,Louisiana law requires you to wait one year from the time you were separated before you can get a divorce.  If you can prove that your spouse committed adultery, the courts allow you to skip this one year time period and get a divorce much more quickly.  Understand, however, that proving adultery is not as easy as it sounds.