How do contested and uncontested divorces differ in Mississippi

| Feb 4, 2021 | Divorce |

In the state of Mississippi, certain requirements apply to the various divorce or separation options that are available.

However, there are two main divorce categories: contested and uncontested. How do these differ?

Contested divorce

If an amicable parting of the ways is not in your future, you and your soon-to-be-ex are likely facing a contested divorce in court. In Mississippi, the grounds for a contested divorce include:

  • Adultery
  • Habitual cruel and inhumane treatment
  • Habitual and excessive use of alcohol or narcotics
  • Repeated domestic battery
  • Bigamy or incest
  • Insanity
  • Penitentiary sentence

The petitioner must prove the grounds for divorce in court.

“No fault” divorce

Mississippi also recognizes “no-fault” grounds for divorce, which means that there are irreconcilable differences. This is only applicable in the matter of an uncontested divorce. The couple must meet requirements for separate living arrangements:

  • The parties must have lived apart under a court decree without reconciliation at the time the decree expired
  • The parties have lived apart for more than two years under a court-ordered decree with no reconciliation
  • The parties have lived apart for the two years prior to the filing date of the divorce with no reasonable likelihood of reconciliation

Legal separation

Mississippi may permit a legal separation if the court determines there is has been a disruption to a marriage. A petition for separation must be filed and, if granted, the duration is a maximum of two years. The court may modify the decree so as to provide support and maintenance for the minor children of the marriage and, in some cases, spousal support.