What if my spouse contests irreconcilable differences?

| Sep 13, 2020 | Family Law |

You may have heard that Mississippi is a no-fault state when it comes to divorce. A no-fault divorce can be an effective way to expedite the legal process and keep the nature of your marital differences private. But as the Mississippi State Bar Association explains, you may not be eligible for a no-fault divorce if your spouse contests irreconcilable differences or divorce terms.

Understanding state law when it comes to legal grounds for divorce is essential for those hoping to use no-fault for a simple and private divorce.

No-fault divorces

Citing irreconcilable differences as grounds for divorce protects spouses from having to make accusations against their partner or prove wrongdoing. If both spouses agree that there is no reasonable hope for reconciliation, and they agree on divorce terms for property division, spousal or child support and custody, they may expedite the divorce process and complete a no-fault divorce.

A no-fault divorce does require a 60-day waiting period, but spouses can use that time to settle the divorce details and property division for court approval.

Fault divorces

Instead, if one spouse sues the other to obtain a divorce, he or she must claim one of Mississippi’s recognized divorce grounds. If the plaintiff can prove one of these circumstances, a court will grant the divorce.

These grounds include desertion, impotency, insanity, idiocy, unknown pregnancy by another party at the time of marriage, adultery, imprisonment, habitual drunkenness or drug use and ongoing cruel treatment. Not only will the spouse seeking divorce need to prove the presence of at least one of the recognized conditions in court, but he or she will also have to demonstrate that the behavior was sufficiently severe to warrant divorce.