Divorce is always a difficult process, whether procedurally or in a familial sense. Legally, divorce is the dissolution of a contract. Personally, divorce is the breakdown of a family unit, which is hard to process. However, divorce is a hallmark of Family Law and BLF is committed to ensuring clients are empowered to navigate the system in an informed matter. This blog post will tell you a little bit about the basics of divorce in Mississippi to help you get started with BLF.
Divorce in Mississippi has evolved over the years. Initially, divorce was granted only by approval of a two-third’s vote of the Mississippi Legislature. Can you imagine having to ask the politicians in Jackson to approve your divorce? The legislature eventually granted the authority to approve divorce to the judicial branch and created the current statutory scheme that governs divorce law in Mississippi.
Miss Code Ann. § 93-5-1 enumerates the grounds for divorce permitted within the jurisdiction of Mississippi. Those grounds are:
- Natural Impotency
- Being Sentenced to any Penitentiary
- Desertion for the space of one (1) year
- Habitual Drunkenness
- Habitual and Excessive Use of Opium, Morphine or other like Drug
- Habitual Cruel and Inhuman Treatment
- Mental Illness or Intellectual Disability at the time of Marriage
- Pregnancy by the Wife by Another Person at the Time of Marriage
- Kinship within a Prohibited Degree
- Incurable Mental Illness
Each of these grounds for divorce are accompanied with their own nuances and requirements, which this blog will explore in the future. The party seeking a divorce on these grounds must prove fault by clear and convincing evidence. However, a party claiming habitual cruel and inhuman treatment may prove fault by a preponderance of the evidence. Corroborating evidence is required and a judge may not grant a divorce by default.
Divorces are granted exclusively by the Chancery Courts of Mississippi. Mississippi has 20 Chancery Districts ranging in size from a single county to eight counties. Chancery judges are elected to four-year terms. Along with divorce, Chancery Courts in Mississippi have exclusive jurisdiction over matters involving equity, domestic matters, guardianships, sanity hearings, wills, and constitutional challenges to state laws. To bring a fault-based divorce action in Mississippi, one of the parties must have been domiciled within the state for at least six months.
If you are seeking a fault-based divorce, consider the personal, aggressive representation available at Baucum Law Firm, PLLC. Dedicated to securing the best results possible for clients, BLF provides tailored legal representation to fit the client's needs. Contact us today.