4 of the “Biggest” Grounds for Divorce; And the rest of the FAULT grounds too…

Approximately half of all marriages end in divorce.

Stuart Miles /freedigitalphotos.net

In Mississippi, parties are limited to the reasons that they can get a divorce based on FAULT.  Mississippi Code § 93-5-1 lists the Causes for Divorce, and below they are listed in order as most often plead; 

#1.  Habitual cruel and inhuman treatment.

#2.  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 knowledge by complainant of the adultery.

#3.  Habitual drunkenness.
 
#4.  Habitual and excessive use of opium, morphine or other like Drug(s).

Lesser plead, but still valid Grounds for Divorce include;
 
#5.  Desertion, Willful, continued and obstinate  for the space of one (1) year.

#6.  Sentenced to any Penitentiary, and not pardoned before being sent there.
 
#7.  Having Mental Illness or an intellectual disability at the time of marriage, if the party complaining did not know of that infirmity.
 
#8.  Bigamy, Marriage to some other person at the time of the pretended marriage between the parties.
 
#9.  Pregnancy of the wife by another person at the time of the marriage, if the husband did not know of the pregnancy.
 
#10.  Incest, 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.
 
#11.  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, confined in an institution for a period of at least three (3) years immediately preceding the commencement of the action.

#12.  Natural impotency.

Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney and knows a thing or two about fault grounds for divorce in Mississippi.

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7 thoughts on “4 of the “Biggest” Grounds for Divorce; And the rest of the FAULT grounds too…”

  1. Some of these are grounds for annulment and not divorce (I’m looking at, amongst other things, bigamy and incest). The annulment changes the equation since the underlying assumption of a divorce is there is a valid marriage to begin with. But a marriage founded on bigamy or incest is void from the start.

    Thoughts?

  2. Actually, ALL are grounds for divorce. See § 93-5-1.
    However, several are grounds for Divorce OR Annulment. It’s not just one or the other. There are reasons a spouse would prefer one over the other depending on the length of the “marriage” and whether they had children.

    § 93-7-3. Causes for annulment of marriages

    A marriage may be annulled for
    (a) Incurable impotency.
    (b) Adjudicated mental illness or incompetence of either or both parties. Action of a spouse who has been adjudicated mentally ill or incompetent may be brought by guardian, or in the absence of a guardian, by next friend, provided that the suit is brought within six (6) months after marriage.
    (c) Failure to comply with the provisions of Sections 93-1-5 through 93-1-9 when any marriage affected by that failure has not been followed by cohabitation.

    Or, in the absence of ratification:
    (d) …from want of age or understanding, of consenting to any marriage, or is incapable from physical causes of entering into the marriage state, or where the consent of either party has been obtained by force or fraud, the marriage shall be void from the time its nullity is declared by a court of competent jurisdiction.
    (e) Pregnancy of the wife by another person, if the husband did not know of the pregnancy.

    Suits for annulment under paragraphs (d) and (e) shall be brought within six (6) months after the ground for annulment is or should be discovered, and not thereafter.

    Great question, TA!

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