“No-fault” divorce does not exist in Mississippi. Here, you cannot get an irreconcilable differences divorce without your spouse’s agreement. Mississippi is one of only two states in the country (South Dakota being the other state) where both spouses must agree to get an irreconcilable differences divorce, which is often called a “no fault” divorce. This comes as a surprise to many seeking a divorce for the first time, and it is an important consideration to keep in mind when planning to divorce your spouse.
Terms like “irreconcilable differences” as well as “fault divorce” and “no-fault divorce” are often mentioned when discussing a divorce. Irreconcilable differences can be an appealing way to dissolve your marriage without a long, drawn-out court battle. However there are nuances to keep in mind.
It’s also why so many people end up coming to our firm after attempting to fill out forms or prepare divorce paperwork themselves! The law is quite easy to misinterpret or misunderstand, and someone who’s not familiar with the law in this area is going to make getting divorced a lot messier than they had planned and can cost themselves more money in the long run.
So please keep reading so that you can find an easier way to end this phase of your life.
The Grounds For An At-Fault Divorce
An irreconcilable differences divorce requires an agreement, but if your spouse caused the breakdown of the marriage, then you may have fault-based grounds for divorce, which is often called a “fault divorce”. Some of these grounds for divorce include:
How You Qualify For An Irreconcilable Differences Divorce In Mississippi
Like we said earlier in the intro, Mississippi divorce laws require that both spouses agree to the divorce. In at-fault divorces where circumstances like we mentioned before are apparent, you will likely be going to an oxford ms divorce lawyer without the other spouse’s agreement or consent and possibly without their knowledge you are seeking a divorce.
This is yet another reason why you shouldn’t just fill out forms and file for an uncontested divorce in Mississippi without the advice of an experienced attorney. We’ve seen the ads saying you can do this quickly for just a few hundred dollars, and unfortunately you will get what you pay for and may not even get divorced at all. However, if both spouses do agree and there’s no circumstances preventing them from qualifying for an irreconcilable differences divorce, then the rest of the process is pretty straight forward.
How A Mississippi Court Will Approve An Irreconcilable Differences Divorce
There are often disagreements about child custody, dividing assets, etc. These disagreements will not prevent you from qualifying for an irreconcilable differences divorce, however, the more issues that can be resolved and agreed upon without the Court ruling on them will end up costing you less in attorney’s fees and court costs. Again, these Mississippi chancery court forms are challenging to fill out, and can cost you more money (not to mention make the proceedings last longer).
When you and your spouse are in complete agreement over all issues in your divorce, then your attorney will submit a joint complaint for divorce and a divorce agreement (often called a property settlement agreement or PSA). Those have to be filed with the Chancery Court Clerk for 60 days. Once those 60 days have elapsed your attorney will prepare a final judgment of divorce and your divorce agreement will be attached to that divorce judgment. There are lots of details necessary to submit these documents properly and to the right person. Again, come see us and we’ll take care of these details for you.
When you and your spouse are not in complete agreement over all issues in your divorce, then your attorney will submit an additional document called a consent decree. This document tells the Court what issues you and your spouse do not have an agreement concerning, and it also tells the Court that you both agree that the Court can decide those issues for you both. After this is done a trial is held where the Court takes testimony, documents, and other evidence on these disputed issues before making a ruling.
Once all of the issues have been resolved by agreement or by the Court making a ruling, then a final judgment of divorce will be entered so long as 60 days have passed since your divorce papers were filed. This 60 day waiting period is required by law as a “cooling off period” in case spouses change their mind about divorcing one another.
If you have any remaining questions about Mississippi divorce laws or need some help from an experienced, compassionate Mississippi divorce lawyer, then please contact us today!
The Covid-19 pandemic has not made it easy at all to manage visitation rights or to consult with an experienced and knowledgeable child custody lawyer.
Visitation schedules and other child custody related matters in Mississippi were already tough to plan around, but now, with the virus outbreaks continually recurring, it can be tough to know where it's safe for your child to go and not go. With Delta and now omicron, it’s really left to you to figure out what to do. I am here to help you navigate these obstacles.
As an experienced North Mississippi child custody lawyer I can answer many questions you may have about child custody and visitation, but we have a few general principles that can help you out until you see us…..
Depending on your situation, it may already be difficult to know what times your child can visit the other parent. If you add in all of the notices about masks, vaccines, and what facilities are still open, then you may be hesitant to work around any of these factors.
The important thing to remember is what the headline up above says. Be flexible. Your child is still allowed to visit the other parent if everyone is comfortable doing so.
The pandemic is going to end. The relationship your children have with both parents is forever. So try to be understanding and let the child’s other parent be present in your child’s life.
Your Child Is Still Allowed To Visit The Other Parent
With that in mind, decrees for child visitation in Mississippi as well as many places across the nation have allowed both parents to still visit their children. Although this is a very serious pandemic, the other parent has not lost any privileges to visit with the child.
It is more important than ever to discuss situations that can evolve and change daily with the other parent. It’s now 2022, and we’ve all been dealing with the pandemic for almost two years, and there are still a lot of obstacles created by the pandemic when it comes to your children. Talking with the other parent, when possible, is a great step toward figuring some of those out.
If there’s any concerns about the health of either household, the safety of visiting a certain facility, or worries about the other parent being regularly exposed to the virus……then sit down and talk about it (calling, emailing, and texting are other great ways to communicate about concerns regarding your children and Covid’s impact on them).
You’re Still Not Relieved Of Financial Responsibilities
Like we said before, many factors have left some court orders and familial responsibilities under interpretation. However we want to stress that child support payments are still ongoing and if you need relief from child support you need a court order to get that relief.
We understand that the life of your child may have changed or been interpreted dramatically by Covid-19. It’s important that you do whatever you think is necessary to continue providing the best life for them that is possible.
What Do You Do If You Get The Virus?
The important thing to do if you get the virus is to be open and honest with the other parent. We all have many differing opinions about Covid-19, but we need to communicate them.
If either parent gets sick, your child can still visit via skype, facetime, zoom, or any other video conferencing tool of your choice. This may be the time when they most need and want to hear from their child so be flexible and understanding.
However, if there are any concerns you may have about child visitation or child custody in North Mississippi, then we recommend you contact us here at the Justice Law Firm. One of our staff members will be more than happy to discuss your situation and set up a time for Attorney James B. Justice to answer any questions about visitation rights during this difficult time.
Attorney James B Justice is one of the most sought-after child visitation and child custody lawyers in North Mississippi with his office located in Oxford, Mississippi. His reviews on Google and his reputation around town will back that up. So feel comfortable calling us for help.
Stay safe and we hope to hear from you soon!