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Once granted, divorce is typically hard to undo

Louisiana stands apart from most other states in the nation. Few would likely dispute that assessment. One of the things that make it different is that among its laws is one that provides for the option of covenant marriages. As we noted in a previous post, covenant marriage is something the state supports as a possible means of reducing the numbers of divorce.

In opting for this form of union parties to a marriage are expected to make a written commitment to each other before vows are uttered. The process includes premarital counseling and signing an agreement saying that they will seek counseling before pursuing a divorce if they hit snags in their relationship. The theory behind this model is that the reinforcing steps will keep couples together.

In some respects, the same sense of durability is something that the state seeks to uphold when it comes to divorce. This is something that Louisiana couples seeking a divorce should understand before committing to a split, because it could be that it won’t be possible to undo the action once it is done.

This is something that a couple in New Hampshire recently discovered. They had been married for 24 years. They sought to divorce in January 2014 and the action was finalized in July 2014. But this past March, they went back to court and asked to have the divorce vacated. They argued that they had patched up their differences.

Their request was denied and this month the state’s Supreme Court upheld the decision, ruling that the law doesn’t grant courts the power to undo divorce decrees except in certain cases. Those include instances of mistake, misfortune or outright fraud — none of which were reportedly in play in this case.

Instead, an attorney appointed to defend the state’s position suggested that the couple was motivated to seek the reversal because of some complicated shared business interests. He said they seemed to feel that undoing the divorce would have been more financially beneficial for them than remarrying.

One legal expert offers the observation that the lesson here is that anyone considering marriage or divorce should be well aware of all the ramifications before taking a step that they might later regret.

Source:, “Couple seeking to undo their divorce get turned down,” Lynne Tuohy, Dec. 26, 2015

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