When Sorry Isn’t Good Enough

Most people have a skeleton or two in their closet. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s skeleton, the son he fathered with housekeeper Mildred Baena, destroyed his 25 year marriage to Maria Shriver. In Louisiana, it would not matter whether the indiscretion and its result were far in a spouse’s past as long as the other spouse had no knowledge of it until much later. A spouse may forgive the other’s bad behavior and continue to live with him or her. Forgiveness and continued cohabitation constitute reconciliation and will prevent a spouse from relying on the bad behavior later as grounds for divorce or permanent alimony. However, a single straw may break the camel’s back if enough have already been piled onto it. Louisiana courts may consider past misdeeds if they are combined with more recent ones.