LOUISIANA: New law makes domestic violence grounds for immediate divorce

Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Governor Jindal signs new bill into law

Did you know that the state of Louisiana has the dubious reputation of being the state with the highest annual number of deaths from domestic violence? Well Governor Bobby Jindall and the state legislature would like to change that. A recent bill which received unanimous support in the legislature and which has been signed into law by Governor Jindal, is set to take effect on August 1. This law will allow a spouse who is victim of domestic violence and has obtained an order of protection from an abusive spouse to obtain an IMMEDIATE divorce. Prior to this new law, it was impossible to get a divorce in Louisiana in less than 180 days. One attorney in Louisiana, Michelle Demarest, has written this on her blog:

According to a May 22 report on KSLA News 12, Louisiana has the unfortunate distinction of having more people killed by domestic violence than any other state. The report explained that the criteria for immediate divorce on the grounds of domestic violence includes either the physical or sexual abuse of a child or spouse by the other spouse or the issuance of an injunction or protective order against the alleged abuser. The bill, authored by State Sen. J.P. Morrell of New Orleans, passed the Senate with a unanimous vote. It is set to become law on Aug. 1.

As Sen. Morrell noted, the new law “will help us continue our efforts to eradicate domestic violence in our state, and it will show the perpetrators of these crimes that they do not want to continue committing these horrible acts in Louisiana.” Gov. Jindal echoed those sentiments. He also acknowledged, “Sadly, too many victims of domestic violence live throughout Louisiana.”

 

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