Lawmakers pass domestic abuse bill

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – Lawmakers have agreed to make domestic abuse one of the grounds for immediate divorce in Louisiana, rather than having a months-long waiting period. 

The Senate gave final passage to the bill (Senate Bill 292) by Sen. J.P. Morrell, D-New Orleans, with a 35-0 vote Thursday. An immediate divorce could be granted if a spouse or child was physically or sexually abused by the other spouse or if a protective order or injunction was issued against the other spouse, under the bill.

It also would allow domestic abuse to be a consideration when determining spousal support in a divorce case. The measure was part of a package of bills aimed at fighting domestic violence in a state that leads the nation in domestic violence deaths. 

“The state of Louisiana will be safer” because of the bills, Morrell said. Morrell’s proposal heads next to Gov. Bobby Jindal’s desk. If approved, it would take effect Aug. 1.

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