MISSISSIPPI DIVORCE LAW
Divorce is a common legal procedure across the U.S., but because divorce laws vary from state to state, it is important to learn about the laws specific to the state in which you are seeking a divorce. This is an overview of some important topics for people considering or facing divorce, annulment, or legal separation in the state of Mississippi.
Mississippi Legal Separation:
A legal separation occurs by order of the court, but does not completely dissolve the marriage the way a divorce does. Mississippi does not have laws relating to legal separation; if you wish the state to legally recognize your separation from your spouse, you must file for divorce.
Mississippi Divorce—Grounds/Fault-No Fault:
There are certain situations in which Mississippi courts consider the petitioning spouse an “injured party,” and will grant a divorce if the injury is proven. These include:
Apart from these, there is a ground for divorce in Mississippi known as “irreconcilable differences.” If the husband and wife have not made a joint complaint on the basis of this ground, the defendant spouse must have been personally served with process. In Mississippi, divorces will not be granted on the basis of irreconcilable differences if the defendant party contests or denies this ground. There are some exceptions related to divorce and child custody disputes which you should discuss a Mississippi divorce attorney.
Mississippi Divorce—Residency/Where to File:
You can file for divorce if either you or your spouse is “domiciled” and physically present in the state of Mississippi for a continuous period of at least six months before filing. Legal domicile is determined based on certain factors; a Mississippi divorce attorney can help you establish whether you or your spouse has the required domicile.
Divorce petitions not based solely on irreconcilable differences must be filed in the county in which the plaintiff resides if the defendant does not live in-state. If the defendant lives in Mississippi, such petitions should be filed in the county in which he or she resides or is currently present, or in the county where the spouses lived at the time of separation, if the plaintiff still lives there.
An annulment is a declaration made by a court that states a marriage is invalid. Unlike divorce, in which a couple chooses to end their legally valid marriage, an annulment is a declaration that there was no legal marriage to begin with, usually due to some defect that was present at the time of the marriage.
Mississippi annulments can be granted based on a variety of factors, any one of which would have made the marriage invalid at the time the marriage occurred:
Mississippi Divorce Laws
The laws referenced in the list below can be found in the Mississippi Code, available here.