Hello. My name is Reardon Stanford, of Hoyt & Stanford, L.L.C. I’m a board certified family law specialist, and I’ve been practicing law for over 20 years.

So how do you get a divorce?

Let’s first assume you don’t have a covenant marriage as they have their own rules. I’ll address covenant marriages in a separate blog.

If you don’t have a covenant marriage, it is possible to obtain a divorce on either fault grounds, or no-fault grounds.

No-fault divorces are the most common and they are based on living separate and apart for a specified period of time. If the parties have minor children born of the marriage, the time period is 365 days. If not, the time period is 180 days.

While you can file for divorce after you’ve been separate and apart for the required time, you don’t have to wait. You can, in fact, file for divorce even before you are separated. Indeed, there may well be important reasons for you to do so, particularly with regards to community property.

As I mentioned, it remains possible to obtain a divorce on fault grounds as well. You can obtain a divorce if:

– the other spouse has committed adultery;

– the other spouse has committed a felony and been sentenced to death or imprisonment at hard labor;

– during the marriage the other spouse has physically or sexually abused you, or a child of either spouse;

– if, after a hearing, a protective order or injunction is issued against the other spouse to protect you or a child of either spouse from abuse;

A divorce based on these fault grounds does not require the same time delays as the no fault divorce.

Details and circumstances are, of course, important. If you are considering a divorce, it is important that you speak with an attorney, soon. Please contact me at Hoyt & Stanford and we’ll discuss your circumstances and the options available to you. We’ll help you decide what your best course of action is.

I look forward to hearing from you.