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What leads to divorce in Mississippi?

Traditionally, when a spouse files for divorce, that spouse will cite "grounds" - a reason - for the divorce. Depending on the specific circumstances of the divorce, one or more grounds may be available. Our readers should be aware of the various grounds that may be available for any specific divorce situation.

The first kind of divorce is called a "no-fault" divorce. In Mississippi, no-fault divorces are only available to couples who agree on the divorce and on some divorce particulars, such as child support, child custody, property division and alimony. In a no-fault divorce, the spouses can cite "irreconcilable differences" as the grounds for the divorce.

Unlike most other states, Mississippi only allows no-fault divorces in cases of the kind of uncontested divorces described above. If the spouses do not agree on the particulars of the divorce, they must cite another ground in which fault is assigned to the other spouse for the divorce. "Desertion" - where one spouse abandons the other - is one of these grounds for divorce. Other grounds are available for spouses who assert that the other person is impotent or suffers from certain kinds of mental illness or developmental disability. The other spouse must not have known of the condition before the marriage was solemnized.

Other grounds that exist in the Magnolia State include those that cover when the other spouse is an alcoholic or drug addict. The divorcing spouse will need to provide clear and convincing evidence of the negative effect of the condition in order to secure a divorce. The most common fault ground is habitual cruel and inhuman treatment. The spouse must prove that the cruel and inhuman treatment happened and was physical in nature or had an adverse effect.

Source: The Mississippi Bar, "What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Mississippi?," accessed on Aug. 26, 2017

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