Mississippi Divorce Questions | Cordell & Cordell

Mississippi Divorce Questions

Mississippi men’s divorce attorneys provide answers to frequently asked questions with regards to the divorce process and divorce laws in Mississippi.

What are the grounds for divorce in Mississippi?

The 12 fault-based grounds for divorce, and the ground of irreconcilable differences, are found in Miss. Code Ann. Section 93-5-1 and Section 93-5-2.

The fault grounds are:

  1. Natural impotency;
  2. Uncondoned adultery;
  3. Sentenced to any penitentiary;
  4. Willful, continued and obstinate desertion for the space of one (1) year;
  5. Habitual drunkenness;
  6. Habitual and excessive use of opium, morphine or other like drug;
  7. Habitual cruel and inhuman treatment, including domestic abuse;
  8. Having a mental illness or an intellectual disability at the time of the marriage, if the party complaining did not know of that infirmity;
  9. Marriage to some other person at the time of the pretended marriage between the parties;
  10. Pregnancy of the wife by another person at the time of the marriage, if the husband did not know of the pregnancy;
  11. Either party may have a divorce if they are related to each other within the degrees of kindred between whom marriage is prohibited by law;
  12. Incurable insanity.

The no-fault ground is irreconcilable differences. This may only be granted when the parties provide a written agreement for the custody and maintenance of any children of that marriage and for the settlement of any property rights between the parties and the courts finds that such provisions are adequate and sufficient.

What is a Mississippi divorce going to cost me? Can I afford it?

The expense of your divorce depends on how much you and your spouse disagree. The more that you and your spouse agree, then the less expensive it will be. The more that you and your spouse fight, then the more expensive it will be.

Do I really need to hire an attorney?

Yes, you need an attorney. If you choose to represent yourself, you will certainly be at a disadvantage in settlement negotiations and in the courtroom.

Does Mississippi grant divorces based on marital fault?

Yes, the only two ways to get a divorce in Mississippi is to prove one of the 12 fault grounds or have both parties agree to the divorce, custody, and property. If you and your spouse cannot agree on child custody and the settlement of all property, nor can you prove fault, then you cannot obtain a divorce.

Can I change my name at the time of divorce?

Yes.

Can I get an annulment?

Maybe, there are annulment grounds just like there are fault grounds for a divorce. If you can prove one of the annulment grounds, then you can.

When can I file for divorce?

You can file for divorce when one of the parties has been an actual bona fide resident within this state for six months next preceding the commencement of the suit.

When is my case going to be over?

If your case is settled on the ground of irreconcilable differences, then your complaint for divorce must be on file for 60 days before a judge can sign off on it.

If your case goes to trial, then it just depends on the court’s docket in the county that you are litigating, the specific facts and circumstances of your case, and the significant issues upon which you and your spouse cannot agree to resolve.

Do I have to go to court?

In most counties, if your case settles then you are not required to go to court. If your case does not settle, then you will be required to go to court for the trial.

At what point during the divorce process can a spouse remarry or start dating?

It is never smart to start dating until after you are divorced. This is especially true if you have minor children.

What if my spouse does not want the divorce?

Then you will have to prove one of the 12 fault grounds.

Do the other issues – support, custody, alimony, and property – have to be decided before the divorce is final?

Yes.

How long do I have to live in Mississippi to obtain a divorce?

Six months.

After I file for divorce, do i have to continue living in Mississippi?

There is no legal requirement that you continue to live in Mississippi after you file for divorce. You should understand that you may be required to make court appearances. If you have minor children, moving to another state while your divorce is pending could put you at a disadvantage.

What forms do I need to file a divorce?

You should consult with a Mississippi family law attorney who handles divorce cases.

How and where is a divorce complaint filed?

All complaints for divorce, except those based solely on the ground of irreconcilable differences, must be filed in the chancery court in the county in which the plaintiff resides, if the defendant be a nonresident of this state.

If the defendant is a resident of this state, the complaint shall be filed in the chancery court in the county, in which such defendant resides or may be found at the time, or in the county of the residence of the parties at the time of separation, if the plaintiff still is a resident of the county when the suit is instituted.

How do I serve the divorce complaint on my spouse? How long do I have to wait to receive my divorce?

Any non-party age 18 or older may serve the complaint on your spouse. Your divorce must be on file for 60 days under the ground of irreconcilable differences.

If you do not file on irreconcilable differences, then there is no waiting requirement, but your spouse has 30 days to respond to your complaint for divorce. Then, the case progresses in a normal manner within the court system and it is difficult to predict how long it will take for the court to grant the divorce.

At any time can a parent change a minor child’s last name without the other parent’s permission?

Court approval is required to legally change a person’s name. You would have to be served and given notice of the proposed name change and would be given the opportunity to be involved in the decision.

Can a couple become legally married by living together as a man and wife under the state’s laws?

No, Mississippi does not recognize common law marriage.