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Common Questions when Filing for a Mississippi Divorce

If you’ve reached a point where you’re considering a divorce from your spouse, you may have questions about the process. Below are the answers to several questions about the process of filing for a divorce in Mississippi.

Do we have to be separated before we file for divorce?

Unlike other states, there is no requirement that you and your spouse are separated before filing for divorce in Mississippi.

How long will it take to get a divorce?

The length of time it takes to get a divorce depends both on whether you file for a fault-based divorce (also known as a contested divorce), or a no-fault divorce (also known as filing for divorce based on irreconcilable differences). Should you file for a fault-based divorce, you will likely have to go through a trial, where you prove the basis for the fault-based divorce in court. Should the judge decide that the case for a fault-based divorce was proven at trial, the divorce will be final as soon as the judgment is entered. However, trials can take a very long time. Should you file for a no-fault divorce, the divorce could be final in as few as 60 days after the complaint for divorce is filed. However, there are other motions and requests that can be filed in a divorce action, such as requests for temporary relief (i.e., alimony payments), that could slow down the process.

What are the grounds for a fault-based divorce?

Should you decide to file for a fault-based divorce, you will need to prove one of the following issues are present with “clear and convincing evidence”: Drug or alcohol addiction, adultery, bigamy, cruel or inhumane treatment, desertion, impotency, familial relation of the spouses of a degree not permitted for a married couple, incurable insanity, pregnancy of the wife by another during the marriage where the husband was not aware the child wasn’t his, and incarceration without pardon.

Where do I file for divorce?

If you are filing for a no-fault divorce and you and your spouse live in separate counties, you can file in either the county where you live or where your spouse lives. If you’re filing for a fault-based divorce, things can get a little more complicated. If your spouse lives in Mississippi, you must either file in the county where your spouse lives or in the county where you lived with your spouse prior to separating. If your spouse lives out of state, the spouse filing for a fault-based divorce should file in the county where he or she lives. There is a residency requirement to file for divorce in Mississippi – one of the spouses must have lived in the state, as well as the county where you’re filing, for at least six months prior to filing.

What are the costs and fees I can expect to pay when I get a Mississippi divorce?

The basic costs of filing for divorce can vary between counties. Filing divorce forms will cost around $100. If you are filing for a fault-based divorce, you will also need to serve your spouse with the divorce complaint, which can cost around $50. If you cannot locate your spouse, you will need to publish notice of the divorce complaint in a newspaper for three consecutive weeks, which can cost around $125. After 30 days, the spouse will be considered to have received notice, and the divorce can proceed. These are only court costs, and hiring an attorney to represent your interests and ensure that you reach a fair result will involve additional fees.

If you are filing for divorce, hiring a lawyer to zealously represent your interests can make a big difference in how your assets are divided, how custody of your children is determined, and the amount of any alimony payments, not to mention the peace of mind in knowing that your divorce case is in capable hands. Contact the Jackson family law attorneys at the Hancock law firm for a consultation on your divorce case at (601) 843-0985.

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