Mississippi Divorce Law Details
When a couple exchanges marriage vows they are looking ahead to a
hopeful future. No one really thinks that an "I do" should lead to an
"I can't." The sad truth is that the current divorce rate in America
hovers at around 50% which means half of all marriages are headed for
There was a time when divorce laws were extremely restrictive but now
every state has enacted their own set of rules that pertain to the
dissolution of a marriage. In other words, it's easy to get a divorce
Mississippi Divorce Law Procedures
Mississippi considers the complaining spouse (the person who files for
a divorce) to be the plaintiff and the other spouse is referred to as
the defendant. Typically this applies to at fault divorce where issues
might be contested.
A plaintiff who files a petition for divorce has the burden of proof
meaning they need to proof to the court that the grounds for divorce
are true. The filing costs is around $200 but the attorney fees can be
much higher depending on how long the proceedings take.
After being served with the divorce papers, a defendant must answer the
complaint by either agreeing to it or contesting it. The defendant can
also file a counter complaint which then needs to be answered.
Once the complaints have been answered, a date is set for the hearing.
Before that hearing, either party can seek what is called "temporary
relief" in matters pertaining to child and financial support.
Mississippi Grounds for Divorce
As with other states there are similar grounds for divorce in
Mississippi such as habitual substance abuse or physical cruelty.
Adultery is also grounds for divorce in Mississippi but there are some
conditions. For instance, if it looks like the husband and wife agreed
to set up adultery just to get the divorce it might not be granted.
On the other hand, the plaintiff doesn't have to prove evidence of
actual sexual relationships but merely the intent and means to commit
adultery. In other words, if a suspected cheating husband is followed
to a hotel where he meets up with another woman that can be grounds
enough for divorce.
Another grounds for divorce in Mississippi is insanity if the plaintiff
wasn't aware of the condition before the marriage. The same for
instances of bigamy or incest where the couple is actually related and
would be prohibited by law to get married. Also, if the wife is
pregnant by another man at the time of the marriage but the husband
wasn't aware of this then the husband can be granted a divorce.
Mississippi Distribution of Property
in a Divorce
Mississippi is an equitable division state which means the court will
decide what is fair with regard to dividing up the property. The court
takes into account the contributions each spouse made to specific
assets, the market value and the emotional value of each item that
might be contested and the financial needs of each spouse as it relates
to maintaining their standard of living.
When it comes to all the household goods, the Mississippi advises that
the parties agree on these items before the hearing. If they can't come
to an agreement, the court might order the items to simply be sold and
spilt the proceeds evenly.