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Under a new divorce bill passed by the House, divorcing couples in Louisiana who have children must separate for one year before a divorce is finalized.
The existing law requires that couples live apart for six months before they can divorce.
The bill lengthens the separation requirement to one year in an effort to give married couples more time to settle their differences. The new measure only applies to couples who have children under the age of 18.
Opponents of the bill believe the extended separation requirement would only increase disputes between divorcing couples and their families, and unnecessarily impedes on two consenting adults choice to divorce.
The measure does make exceptions in divorce cases involving sexual or physical abuse, which will still be subject to the six month law.
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