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The different grounds for divorce in Mississippi

Under the law, marriage is a civil contract that carries with it certain rights and obligations. Divorce legally ends a relationship at the end of a marriage. There are different methods of divorce in Mississippi. One method is referred to as no-fault divorce when the couple agrees to divorce and can then settle divorce-related issues such as property division, alimony, child support and child custody. In other circumstances, when one of the spouses files for divorce, they can do so based on 12 fault grounds for divorce in Mississippi and the court determines if the couple can divorce.

Among the grounds for divorce in Mississippi are desertion; natural impotency; insanity; idiocy; and the wife's pregnancy by another person which are considered pre-existing grounds for a divorce. Bigamy and incest are also grounds for divorce in Mississippi. In addition, adultery, imprisonment, incurable insanity developing after the marriage; habitual drunkenness; habitual and excessive drug use; and habitual cruel and inhuman treatment can all be grounds for divorce in Mississippi. Habitual cruel and inhuman treatment is the most common fault ground for divorce in Mississippi.

In addition, a divorce based on irreconcilable differences requires a 60-day waiting period but assumes the spouses have resolved divorce-related concerns during that period of time and the court has approved the property settlement agreement. Regardless of whether the couple is pursuing a no-fault or fault-based divorce, Mississippi laws and the family law process provide options and resources to help guide them through the process.

Any type of divorce can be challenging for the divorcing couple which is why it helps to know as much about the process and what to expect as possible. Familiarity with the process, and how different options may meet the needs and goals of the parties, can help make a challenging process less difficult in a variety of circumstances.

Source: The Mississippi Bar, "What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Mississippi?" Accessed Feb. 20, 2017

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