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Does Mississippi allow divorce due to irreconcilable differences?

On Behalf of | Sep 22, 2022 | Divorce |

When Mississippi couples want to get a divorce, they must show the court there is a reason to grant it. In most states, simply saying there are irreconcilable differences is sufficient. That is not the case in Mississippi unless certain circumstances are in place. When thinking about ending a marriage, knowing the law as to how to start and complete the process is an essential part of the entire case.

What does the law say about irreconcilable differences?

It is possible to get divorced because of irreconcilable differences in Mississippi. However, it can only be if it is a joint complaint from both spouses or one in which the defendant was either personally served with process or entered an appearance via written waiver of process. In short, they must agree that they are divorcing. One spouse cannot seek the divorce for this cause without the other participating and agreeing.

In these cases, it might not even be necessary for the court to decide on child custody, support, property division and alimony. The spouses can negotiate on their own and give the court a written agreement. The court will assess it to ensure it is sufficient and it can then be added to the judgment. Without an agreement, the court can grant the divorce based on irreconcilable differences and decide on property, support, custody and other aspects on its own.

Recent attempts to change the law have failed. A bill had been introduced that would have allowed irreconcilable differences as a justification for a divorce without agreement of the other party. It passed in the Mississippi Senate by an overwhelming margin, but when it went to the House, it stalled in committee. Only Mississippi and South Dakota do not allow one spouse to use irreconcilable differences to get a divorce.

Understanding the causes for divorce is essential when ending a marriage

Not every divorce has factors listed under the law as causes including adultery, incarceration, desertion, natural impotency, addiction, abuse, mental illness, one spouse being married to another person or pregnancy by another person. Trying to get divorced based on irreconcilable differences is possible, but only if certain conditions are in place. For help with this or any other concern related to family law, contacting experienced family law professionals can be helpful.