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Mississippi grounds for divorce could add one more in 2019

Our state has come under scrutiny for some of their divorce and marriage laws. However, these decisions are traditionally left the state, so it is within the state's jurisdiction to decide the laws on these matters. There are currently 12 grounds for divorce here. A bill has been authored that would include one more, if approved.

A ground for divorce essentially means, a reason. To file officially for divorce, a couple or a person must cite a specific ground as the reason for seeking a divorce. The bill would allow those seeking to get a divorce to list separation without cohabitation for three years or more, as grounds for divorce. Specifically it would read: Willful and continued separation without cohabitation, with the intent not to return or resume or otherwise continue the marital relationship, for not less than three (3) years. Either party may have a divorce based on this cause.

Living separately is not a typical marital behavior. If cases where a spouse has abandoned the other, or the two have made an agreement to separate, this gives more rights to the person to file for a divorce. It would be references as "bona fide separation." It should be noted that a bill trying to approve grounds for domestic abuse failed to pass through into law in previous years.

As the bill continues through the legislative branch to a possible approval or denial, those seeking divorce will still need to file under existing grounds. These grounds give a basis for why one is seeking a divorce. It does not apply the specifics of the divorce decree, child custody arrangement or other necessary agreement. It might be the ground that you file under, but there could be many underlying reasons for divorce.

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