Immediate divorce now allowed for domestic violence victims in Louisiana
Michelle Southern Reporting
Another one of the state's 551 new laws now in effect would grant an immediate divorce in domestic violence situations. New Orleans Senator JP Morrell says before today, even if you had tons of evidence that you were a victim of domestic violence, you'd still have to wait 6 months to a year before you get a divorce.
"That's obviously problematic because until that divorce is granted, the abuser still has all the rights of a spouse," said Morrell.
Morrell says now if someone has reasonable proof that they've been abused and can show that in court, they will be able to divorce the abuser right away.
"Basically what you'd bring to a court to ask for a restraining order," said Morrell. "Pictures, videos, threatening text messages."
Morrell says also beginning today, abusers under a protective order are prohibited from possessing a firearm and those convicted of domestic abuse are banned from possessing a firearm for 10 years.
He says Louisiana is one of the leaders in the nation when it comes to domestic violence situations that end in death so one of the major goals of the 2014 session was to pass sweeping anti-domestic violence legislation.
"And just basically to give everyone, every possible chance to get out of those kinds of relationships and truly separate from those people for the good of BOTH parties," said Morrell.