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Legal Information: Louisiana


February 15, 2019

Can I get spousal support?

Spousal support (also known as alimony) is financial support paid by or to your spouse and can be awarded during the divorce (“interim support”) and/or when a divorce is granted. To get interim periodic support or final periodic support, the judge must believe that you are in need of support and not “at fault” for the divorce. To get final periodic support, the judge must also consider your spouse’s ability to pay support.1 The judge will assume that you should be granted final periodic support if:

  • the judge determines that your spouse committed domestic abuse against you, your child, or your spouse’s child; or
  • you were granted a judgment of divorce based on one of the four fault-based grounds explained in What are the grounds for divorce in Louisiana?2

When deciding the amount of support that you will get and for how long you will receive support, the judge will consider all relevant factors, including:

  1. the income and finances of each spouse;
  2. the financial obligations of each spouse, including any interim support that is ordered or a final child support obligation;
  3. how much each spouse is capable of earning, including the effect that having custody of children has upon a spouse’s earning capacity;
  4. the time necessary for you to get appropriate education, training, or employment;
  5. the health and age of the parties;
  6. the length of the marriage;
  7. the tax consequences to each spouse; and
  8. if your spouse committed domestic abuse against you or your child (or against your spouse’s child), the judge will consider:
    • the effect of such abuse; and
    • the length of time that the abuse went on (it doesn’t matter if your spouse was criminally charged for the domestic violence).3 Note: To determine if your spouse committed domestic abuse against you, the judge will consider any criminal convictions for an offense committed against you during the marriage. If there are no such convictions, the judge can order an evaluation of both parties by an independent mental health professional who is an expert in the field of domestic abuse to help determine if there was abuse and the nature of the abuse.4

Your interim or final periodic spousal support will end if:

  • either spouse dies;
  • you remarry; or
  • if there is a judicial determination that you live (“cohabitate”) with someone else in a way similar to a married couple.5

1 LA Code Civ Pro 111; 112(A)
2 LA Code Civ Pro 112(C)
3 LA Code Civ Pro 112(B)
4 LA R.S. 9:327
5 LA Code Civ Pro 115