Participation Trophies & You…

I hear and read a lot about the downfall of society. I see it too, sometimes.

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But what I hear often is the wailing about the travesty of Participation Trophies. Parents, in a huff, saying that the idea of getting an award just for showing up promotes weakness, unreasonable expectations and an attitude of undeserved reward.

These same parents say that when they were a kid that they earned the trophies they received or they didn’t get one…along with walking to school uphill, both ways in the snow. That getting a trophy for “nothing” means the child will still be living at home when they are 30, in mom’s basement playing video games and eating chips.

But guess what? These same parents are buying the Participation Trophies. I have never seen an 8-year old call Mars & Steele and place an order for 16, plasti-chromed figurines atop a pedestal, requesting that each be engraved with “Go Tigers! 2017”

Participation Trophies are not the downfall of society. They are a side-effect from either the parent not receiving a trophy when they were that age or from the parent that did receive one that is trying to prevent their child from experiencing the feeling you get when you don’t get a trophy.

Teaching your child to be a hard worker, to be strong and to earn what you work for is YOUR job as a parent. It is not the job of the Coach for the 8-year old soccer team. His job is to teach fundamentals, have fun and make sure the snack list is circulated and the parents sign up!

Matthew Thompson is a former 8-year old soccer coach and while his team may not have won every game, they had the best snacks!

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Fault Grounds for Divorce in Mississippi: Updated!

The Mississippi Legislature amended the Fault Grounds for divorce last term to include spousal domestic violence and tweaked the corroboration requirement. The current Fault Grounds for Divorce are below. You only need one.

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§ 93-5-1. Causes for divorce

  • Divorces from the bonds of matrimony may be decreed to the injured party for any one or more of the following twelve (12) causes:
    • First.  Natural impotency.
    • Second.  Adultery, unless it should appear that it was committed by collusion of the parties for the purpose of procuring a divorce, or unless the parties cohabited after a knowledge by complainant of the adultery.
    • Third.  Being Sentenced to any Penitentiary, and not pardoned before being sent there.
    • Fourth.  Willful, Continued and Obstinate Desertion for the space of one (1) year.
    • Fifth.  Habitual Drunkenness.
    • Sixth.  Habitual and Excessive use of Opium, Morphine or other like Drug.
    • Seventh.  Habitual Cruel and Inhuman Treatment, including Spousal Domestic Abuse.

   Spousal Domestic Abuse may be established through the reliable testimony of a single credible witness, who may be the injured party, and includes, but is not limited to:

   That the injured party’s spouse attempted to cause, or purposely, knowingly or recklessly caused bodily injury to the injured party, or that the injured party’s spouse attempted by physical menace to put the injured party in fear of imminent serious bodily harm; or

   That the injured party’s spouse engaged in a pattern of behavior against the injured party of threats or intimidation, emotional or verbal abuse, forced isolation, sexual extortion or sexual abuse, or stalking or aggravated stalking as defined in Section 97-3-107, if the pattern of behavior rises above the level of unkindness or rudeness or incompatibility or want of affection.

  • Eighth.  Having Mental Illness or an intellectual disability at the time of marriage, if the party complaining did not know of that infirmity.
  • Ninth.  Marriage to some other Person at the time of the pretended marriage between the parties.
  • Tenth.  Pregnancy of the wife by another Person at the time of the marriage, if the husband did not know of the pregnancy.
  • Eleventh.  Either party may have a divorce if they are Related to each other within the Degrees of Kindred between whom marriage is prohibited by law.
  • Twelfth.  Incurable Mental Illness. However, no divorce shall be granted upon this ground unless the party with mental illness 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 (3) years immediately preceding the commencement of the action… (see statute for complete description).

Judicial Elections; Picking “Your” Divorce Judge

It is the season of qualifying for Judicial candidates.

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From now through May, persons qualified to run, may throw their hat in the ring to become your next family law judge. The requirements are fairly basic for Chancellor;  be at least 26 years of age, a practicing attorney for five years, and a citizen of the state for five years. Miss. Const. of 1890, Art. 6, §§153 and 154; Miss. Code Ann. §9-5-1, and pay a fee of $100 to the Secretary of State’s Office.

Below is the current listing and the geographical area that the Judges are in. There will be many more persons qualifying in the coming weeks.

District 1: Alcorn, Itawamba, Monroe, Pontotoc, Prentiss, Lee, Tishomingo, Union

Stephen T. Bailey Chancery Court Judge 1, 4 *(The first number is the District, the second is the place.)

Bailey was recently appointed after the resignation of T.K. Moffett. Bailey was a solid choice for the appointment and will likely win even if opposed.

Jacqueline Mask Chancery Court Judge 1, 3

Current Chancellor.

Judge John Hatcher just announced his retirement which will mean another spot is available in this District.

District 4: Amite, Franklin, Pike, Walthall
Debbra K. Halford Chancery Court Judge 4, 1

Current Chancellor.

Wayne Smith Chancery Court Judge 4, 2

Current Chancellor.

District 5: Hinds County
Dewayne Thomas Chancery Court Judge 5, 1

Current Chancellor. Judge Thomas will have this position for as long as he wants it.

Hinds County will be very interesting to watch as the three other current Chancellors, Owens, Singletary, and Wise, have all considered retirement.

District 6: Attala, Carroll, Choctaw, Kemper, Neshoba, Winston
Joseph Kilgore Chancery Court Judge 6, 1

Current Chancellor.

Rosalind H. Jordan Chancery Court Judge 6, 2

District 7: Bolivar, Coahoma, Leflore, Quitman, Tallahatchie, Tunica
Catherine Farris-Carter Chancery Court Judge 7, 1

Current Chancellor.

District 9: Humphreys, Issaquena, Sharkey, Sunflower, Warren, Washington
Jane R. Weathersby Chancery Court Judge 9, 2

Current Chancellor.

Vicki Roach Barnes Chancery Court Judge 9, 3

Current Chancellor.

District 10: Forrest, Lamar, Marion, Pearl River, Perry
Rhea Sheldon Chancery Court Judge 10, 2

Current Chancellor.

Vanessa Jones Chancery Court Judge 10, 3

This is a race to watch. Judge Williams, I believe, is retiring, and this a large area with lots of attorneys and will be interesting to see who qualifies.

District 11: Holmes, Leake, Madison, Yazoo
Cynthia Lee Brewer Chancery Court Judge 11, 2

Current Chancellor.

James C. Walker Chancery Court Judge 11, 3

Current Chancellor.

I do not expect challengers to either sitting Judge, but it could happen.

District 12: Clarke, Lauderdale
Frances Smith Stephenson Chancery Court Judge 12, 1
Charles E. “Charlie” Smith Chancery Court Judge 12, 1

This is another race to watch. Long serving Judge Mason is retiring and there are multiple quality candidates for this position.

District 13: Covington, Jefferson Davis, Lawrence, Simpson, Smith
Gerald M. Martin  Chancery Court Judge 13, 2

Current Chancellor.

District 14: Chickasaw, Clay, Lowndes, Noxubee, Oktibbeha, Webster
Gene Barton Chancery Court Judge 14, 1
Lee Ann Turner Chancery Court Judge 14, 1
Paula Drungole-Ellis Chancery Court Judge 14, 3
Roy A. Perkins Chancery Court Judge 14, 3

The judicial race for Starkville, Columbus, Westpoint, etc. will be fun to watch. All three current chancellors, Colom, Burns and Davidson, are retiring. This means there will be three new family law judges for this district. I expect a lot of candidates and several of the more talked about names have not yet qualified.

District 15: Copiah, Lincoln
Joseph Durr Chancery Court Judge 15

Judge Ed Patten is retiring.

District 16: George, Greene, Jackson- MS Coast (eastern half)
D. Neil Harris, Sr. Chancery Court Judge 16, 1

Current Chancellor.

Gary L. Roberts Chancery Court Judge 16, 2
David M. Allen Chancery Court Judge 16, 3
David C. Frazier Chancery Court Judge 16, 3
Mark A. Maples Chancery Court Judge 16, 3

District 18: Benton, Calhoun, Lafayette, Marshall, Tippah
Lawrence L. “Larry” Little Chancery Court Judge 18,1

Bob Whitwell Chancery Court Judge 18, 2

Current Chancellor.

District 20: Rankin County
John C. McLauren, Jr. Chancery Court Judge 20, 1

Current Chancellor.

Mel Coxwell Chancery Court Judge 20, 2
Troy F. Odom Chancery Court Judge 20, 2

Place 2 is a race to watch. Judicial stalwart John Grant is retiring and I expect 3-5 candidates for this position. It will also be a close race as those qualified, and expected to be, are all great candidates.

Haydn J. Roberts Chancery Court Judge 20, 3

Current Chancellor.

Matthew Thompson is a Family Law Attorney in Mississippi and has practiced in most Chancery Court districts in the State.

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Divorce, Child Custody & Child Support, Alimony, Contempt, Modification, Youth Court, Adoption and Appeals.

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