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Highest court to rule on constitutionality of no-fault divorce

When it comes to divorce law, it's an issue traditionally handled by the state. That means Mississippi state law dictates how laws are issued in accordance with different divorce and child custody issues. If the law then needs applying, it can go to the state courts as to how to proceed. However, the highest state court has been asked to rule on the constitutionality of divorce and 'no fault' law.

Mississippi is one of only two states (the other is South Dakota) that has divorce grounds in which they do not include a unilateral no-fault divorce ground. This has to do with when a person or couple files for divorce, if a spouse wants to file and the other doesn't, it can delay proceedings for extended periods of time, sometimes years. The Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence is asking that the state's highest court would agree with a previous judge's determination that Mississippi's lack of a true "no-fault" divorce grounds is unconstitutional.

Their proof of argument is based on the fact that Mississippi divorce law has not evolved much in the last 100 years. The claims also highlight the problem that domestic violence victims have had difficulties filing for a divorce from an abusive spouse. Earlier this year, state legislation was passed that made for a broader definition of abuse rather than the previous "habitual, cruel and inhuman treatment", that made it difficult for those suffering from abuse to leave their spouse on allegations of domestic violence.

If approved, the revised no fault divorce law could quicken the divorce process and widen the grounds on which a person can bring a divorce filing. It could make filing divorce more attainable for those who really need it. However, others may argue that arguing the constitutionality of divorce law is something that should be left to federal courts. If it does not pass, a spouse can, in theory, hold up divorce proceedings based on the lack of no-fault divorce clause in Mississippi law.

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