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Mississippi Legal Separation Papers & Divorce Information and FAQ
Mississippi law allows for no-fault divorces, no fault divorces with contested issues, and fault divorces. The no-fault divorce is based upon irreconcilable differences and may only be granted were both parties agree to a divorce. If both parties agree to the divorce, but cannot agree on all aspects of custody, property division, etc., then they can let the court decide these matters (this is a no-fault divorce with contested issues).
If the parties do NOT agree to get divorced, then one party must seek the divorce based on one of twelve recognized grounds. These include:
1. Habitual cruel and inhuman treatment. 2. Adultery. 3. Being sentenced to any penitentiary. 4. Desertion for one year. 5. Habitual drunkenness. 6. Habitual and excessive use of opium, morphine or other like drug (including addiction to presciption drugs). 7. Natural impotency. 8. Insanity or idiocy at the time of marriage, if the party complaining did not know of such infirmity. 9. Marriage to some other person at the time of the pretended marriage between the parties. 10. The wife's pregnancy by another person at the time of the marriage, if the husband did not know of such pregnancy. 11. Incest. 12. Incurable insanity.
Residency Requirements In order to file a fault or no-fault divorce, one party must be a resident of the state of Mississippi for at least 6 months before filing for divorce.
Venue Divorce actions are filed in Chancery Court. A complaint for divorce based solely on the grounds of irreconcilable differences shall be filed in the county of residence of either party where both parties are residents of this state. If one (1) party is not a resident of this state, then the complaint shall be filed in the county where the resident party resides. Waiting period A waiting period of 60 days after filing the joint complaint is required before a divorce may be granted.
Required financial statement The Mississippi UNIFORM CHANCERY COURT RULES, RULE 8.05. FINANCIAL STATEMENT REQUIRED, provides that unless excused by Order of the Court for good cause shown, each party in every domestic case involving economic issues and/or property division shall provide the opposite party or counsel, if known, financial disclosures of the following:
(A) A detailed written statement of actual income and expenses and assets and liabilities, such statement to be on the forms attached hereto as Exhibit "A" and "B". (B) Copies of the preceding year's Federal and State Income Tax returns, in full form as filed, or copies of W-2's if the return has not yet been filed.
(C) A general statement of the providing party describing employment history and earnings from the inception of the marriage or from the date of divorce, whichever is applicable.
The forms in the USLF divorce package include the required financial statement forms. » Return to top Property division By Court decision, Mississippi recognizes basic equitable distribution procedures. Marital property may be divided between the parties regardless of title. In an irreconcilable differences divorce, the parties agree on property matters in their separation and property settlement agreement. The court may award alimony to husband or wife. Child Custody The court may award custody of the children in a divorce to wife, husband or joint custody. Provisions in separation agreements are not binding on the court. The court looks to the best interest of the children. Mississippi allows physical and legal custody. Joint custody is also allowed if the court finds that joint custody is in the best interest of the children. Custody shall be awarded as follows according to the best interests of the child:
(a) Physical and legal custody to both parents jointly. (b) Physical custody to both parents jointly and legal custody to either parent. (c) Legal custody to both parents jointly and physical custody to either parent. (d) Physical and legal custody to either parent. » Return to top Non-Custodial Parent Right to Information Access to records and information pertaining to a minor child, including but not limited to medical, dental and school records, shall not be denied to a parent because the parent is not the child's custodial parent if such parent's parental rights have not been terminated by adoption or by a termination of parental rights proceeding. Child Support Mississippi has adopted guidelines for child support. The guidelines are based on the number of children:
Children Percent of Adjusted Gross Income 1 14% 2 20% 3 22% 4 24% 5 or more 26%
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