Grounds for Divorce in Mississippi
A divorce may be granted under fault grounds when one party proves to be entitled to a divorce due to habitual, cruel and inhuman treatment; adultery; desertion and a few other specific situations. The accused party may deny such grounds exist or may file a counter complaint to allege the same grounds.
A divorce may also be granted on the ground of irreconcilable differences, or a no-fault divorce, in a case where both parties agree that a divorce is needed but are not accusing the other party of a “fault” ground, even if one exists. In many cases, the parties may agree to the divorce as well as other issues such as custody, support and division of assets and debts.
Mississippi Child Support and Custody Guidelines
Both parents must provide financial support of their children to the best of their abilities following a divorce. Mississippi courts use each parents’ income to determine the amount of child support necessary. A judge may order one parent to provide health insurance or pay for expenses related to the child’s special medical or educational needs.
The state of Mississippi may award either parent sole physical or legal custody of any minor children, but the presumption is that joint legal custody is usually in the best interest of the children. The court encourages parents to agree on a child custody plan, which a judge can approve. If parents cannot agree, the court will decide custody based on the best interests of the children.
Alimony Awards in Mississippi
Either spouse can ask the court to award alimony. The Court will determine whether alimony is necessary after considering a number of factors such as length of marriage, age of parties, whether children are living in the home and disparity between the incomes of the individual spouses. The court will also need to consider a spouses ability to pay alimony.
Mississippi Property Division
Mississippi is an equitable distribution state, meaning the court may consider dividing jointly titled property between the spouses according to the established principles of equitable distribution, including but not limited to the marital home, vehicles, personal property, business interests, retirement accounts and pensions acquired during the marriage and debts of the parties. The parties are required to produce a comprehensive financial statement to declare income, assets and debts unless they both agree to waive the statement and the Chancellor approves the waiver. Each parties’ contribution to assets and debts is considered. Certain guidelines are applied as a percentage of income to determine child support based on the number of children of the marriage.
Mississippi Divorce Attorney
To ensure your rights and interests are being protected during your divorce, you need an experienced attorney on your side. Madison, MS divorce attorney Janice Jackson has almost 20 years experience practicing family law in Mississippi. Contact Jackson Law Firm, PLLC at 601-982-9797 to speak with Attorney Jackson today.