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Filing for Divorce in Mississippi

Filing for Divorce in Mississippi

Getting a Divorce in Mississippi? Divorce Law Cheat Sheet for the State of Mississippi


1. What are the residency requirements for filing for divorce in Mississippi?  
You or your spouse must have been a resident of the state for at least six months before filing. If you’re a member of the armed services, stationed in Mississippi and living there with your spouse at the time that you separate, you are considered residents.  

Unless you are filing solely on the ground of irreconcilable differences, you also must file in the county in which your spouse lives; or, if he or she is no longer a resident, in the county where you lived when you separated, if you still live there. If not, then you must file in the county where you live.  

If you file for divorce solely on the ground of irreconcilable differences, you can file in the county where either you or your spouse lives, if you both are residents of the state. If one of you is no longer a resident, then you must file in the county where the other still lives.  

2. Does Mississippi have a waiting period?       
If you file for a divorce on the ground of irreconcilable differences, the court will not hold a hearing for at least 60 days.  

3. Does the state have grounds for divorce?  
Yes. You may file for divorce in Mississippi on these grounds:

1. Your spouse is impotent.
2. Your spouse committed adultery — had an affair (unless it looks like you and your spouse planned this to have a ground for divorce, or you and your spouse lived together as husband and wife after the incident).
3. Your spouse is sentenced to prison without pardon.
4. Your spouse has purposefully deserted you and been gone for more than a year.
5. Your spouse is habitually drunk.
6. Your spouse habitually abuses drugs.
7. Your spouse is habitually cruel and inhumane.
8. Your spouse was insane at the time of your marriage, and you did not know it. 
9. Your spouse was already married to someone else at the time you thought you were married.
10. Your spouse was pregnant by someone else at the time of your marriage, and you did not know it.
11. Your spouse turns out to be related to you.
12. Your spouse is incurably insane, meaning he or she has been in treatment and confined to an institution for at least three years, and two physicians have signed an affidavit stating that he or she is mentally disturbed (you may be required to provide for care for the rest of your spouse’s life, unless he or she has the means to pay for it).  

You also may file on the ground of irreconcilable differences, but only if you and your spouse file together, or your spouse has been personally served with divorce papers, or your spouse has waived this process in writing. Mississippi will not grant a divorce for irreconcilable differences if your spouse contests or denies it, unless your spouse withdraws or cancels his or her contest or denial.  

Irreconcilable differences may be the ground on which you file for divorce, or it may be an alternate ground for divorce with any of the other causes listed above.  

4. How does Mississippi determine the division of property?    

Mississippi is a title state, which means that you and your spouse keep what you each have titled in your name. Beyond that, the court will consider what is equitable, or fair, in dividing your property. To determine what is fair, the court takes into consideration: 
  • Whether you or your spouse made a substantial contribution toward acquiring your property.
  • The way you and your spouse each handled your marital property.
  • The value of your marital property.
  • The value of you and your spouse’s separate property.
  • The tax situation you each would face after your property is divided.
  • How dividing your property might make alimony unnecessary.
  • You and your spouse’s needs and assets.
  • You and your spouse’s income and earning capacities.
  • Anything else the court considers relevant.  

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