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Grounds for a Fault-Based Divorce in Mississippi

Many spouses who file for divorces want nothing more than their relationships to end, but those that can prove that there is a cause for the end of their marriage could receive better outcomes for their proceedings. In this blog post, an experienced Mississippi family law firm explores the legitimate legal reasons for fault-based divorces in Jackson.

Fault-Based Divorces

In all fifty states, any spouse can split from their partner by filing a no-fault divorce. In a no-fault divorce, neither party is held responsible for causing the split. No-fault divorces are good for spouses who want their marriages to end, but in some states (like Mississippi) a fault-based divorce is possible.

A fault-based divorce is when a spouse divorces his or her partner on legitimate legal grounds. States that allow fault-based divorces create the grounds spouses use to fight for their separations. All states that offer fault-based divorces have their own statutes for what constitutes a fault-based divorce, but in this blog post, we will only examine Mississippi’s fault-based divorce laws.

Mississippi Grounds for Fault-Based Divorces

Grounds for fault-based divorces vary from state to state, but Mississippi offers 12 different grounds for divorce.

The 12 grounds for a Mississippi fault-based divorce are:

  • Natural and incurable impotence;

  • Adultery;

  • A stay in a penitentiary for any duration of time;

  • Willful, continued, and obstinate desertion for a year;

  • Habitual drunkenness;

  • Habitual and excessive use of opium, morphine, or other like drugs;

  • Continual cruel and inhuman treatment, including spousal domestic abuse;

  • Hidden mental illnesses or intellectual disabilities at the time of marriage;

  • Bigamy;

  • Husband is unaware of the wife being pregnant by another person at the time of the marriage;

  • Degree of kindred that is prohibited by law; and

  • Incurable mental illness.

Some of these grounds need more explanation, which we will provide below.

Natural & Incurable Impotency

If someone is unable to procreate, and they cannot change their circumstances, their spouse may file a fault-based divorce against them. For impotence to stand as a ground for divorce, it must be naturally occurring, and the problem must exist at the start of the marriage.

Incurable Mental Illness

Mississippi’s definition of an incurable mental illness is more concerned with the outcome of the disease rather than the disease itself.

Mississippi law considers someone to have an incurable mental illness for a fault-based divorce as, “someone with a mental illness who has been under regular treatment for mental illness and causes thereof, confined in an institution for persons with mental illness for a period of at least three years immediately preceding the commencement of the action.”

In short, a person must be institutionalized for three years before a spouse can file for divorce.

Need Help Filing for a Mississippi Divorce?

Whether you want to file a fault-based or no-fault divorce, it’s important to talk to an experienced Mississippi divorce attorney before you make plans. A divorce attorney can help you determine if a fault-based divorce is plausible, and can also help you properly draft the paperwork necessary to file for your divorce.

If you or a loved one is ready to start the divorce process, call (601) 843-0985 now to set up a consultation with Hancock Law Firm!

Contact Hancock Law Firm, PLLC

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