When going through the difficult divorce process, rely on JRW Law to guide you through the process compassionately and attentively. Contact us today to learn more about our divorce law in Ridgeland, MS.
Methods of Obtaining a Divorce in Mississippi
Under Mississippi law, there are three methods for obtaining a divorce. Read about them below, or contact us at JRW Law to learn more.
Sometimes referred to as "no-fault," this method is usually the least expensive and least stressful.
Irreconcilable Differences with Contested Issues
If the parties agree to the divorce on the ground of irreconcilable differences, but are unable to agree about custody and maintenance of their minor children or how to divide their property and debts, they may consent to a divorce on the ground of irreconcilable differences and permit the court to decide the issues upon which they cannot agree.
If the parties are unable to obtain a divorce by one of the irreconcilable differences methods, then one party may sue the other for divorce on one of the recognized "fault grounds," which include:
- Natural Impotency
- Incurable Insanity
- Habitual and Excessive Use of Opium, Morphine, or Other Similar Drug such as Marijuana.
- Insanity or Idiocy at the Time of Marriage (If the Party Complaining Did Not Know of Such Infirmity)
- Pregnancy of the Wife by Another Person at the Time of the Marriage, if the Husband Did Not Know of Such Pregnancy
- Habitual Drunkenness
- Desertion for One Year
- Habitual Cruel and Inhuman Treatment, including domestic violence
- Being Sentenced to Any Penitentiary, and Not Pardoned Before Being Sent There
- Marriage to Some Other Person at the Time of the Pretended Marriage Between the Parties
- The Parties Being Related to Each Other within the Degrees of Kindred Between Whom Marriage is Prohibited by Law
Division of Assets and Debts
Upon divorce, the court has the authority to divide the couple's assets and debts equitably and to award alimony. When deciding how to divide assets and debts, Mississippi law requires the court to follow these steps:
- The court classifies the parties' assets and debts as "marital" or "non-marital."
- The court values and equitably divides the marital property in light of each party's non-marital property.
- If the equitably divided marital assets will adequately provide for both parties, then no alimony is awarded.
- If the equitably divided marital assets leave a deficit for one party, then alimony is considered.
After the equitable division of marital property, the final step the court must complete is a consideration of alimony. If the equitably divided marital assets will adequately provide for each party, no alimony should be awarded. If one party is left with a deficit after the marital property is equitably divided, alimony is considered. The four types of alimony available under Mississippi law are periodic alimony, lump sum alimony, rehabilitative alimony, and reimbursement alimony. When considering whether to award alimony, how much alimony to award, or which type of alimony to award, the court evaluates the following twelve factors:
- The Age of the Parties
- The Income and Expenses of the Parties
- The Health and Earning Capacities of the Parties
- Any Other Factor Deemed by the Court to be "Just and Equitable" in Connection with the Setting of Spousal Support
- The Presence or Absence of Minor Children in the Home (Which May Require That One or Both of the Parties Either Pay or Personally Provide Child Care)
- Fault or Misconduct
- The Needs of Each Party
- The Length of the Marriage
- The Obligations and Assets of Each Party
- Wasteful Dissipation of Assets by Either Party
- The Tax Consequences of the Spousal Support Order
- The Standard of Living of the Parties (Both During the Marriage and at the Time of the Support Determination)