All posts by BowTieLawyer

Matthew operates the Thompson Law Firm, pllc. A Ridgeland, Mississippi based Family Law firm emphasizing; Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Modification, Contempt and Appeals, handling family law cases throughout Mississippi. (601) 850-8000 Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms www.BowTieLawyer.ms

Common Law Marriage is Not Common

Common Law Marriage was the law of the land in Mississippi until 1956.

Jorodo via Cartoon Stock

Prior to 1956 if you lived with someone, holding yourselves out as Mr. and Mrs., for longer than a certain number of years, it made that union a valid, legal marriage.

In 1956 the Mississippi legislature ended Common Law Marriage, or at least NEW Common Law Marriages within the State.  Mississippi Code § 93-1-15 was passed that required a License and solemnization for a valid marriage.

   (1) No marriage contracted after April 5, 1956 shall be valid unless the contracting parties shall have obtained a marriage license … and …shall have been performed …solemniz[ation].  Failure in any case to comply with both prerequisites …shall render the purported marriage absolutely void and any children born as a result thereof illegitimate.

(2) Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to affect the validity of any marriage, either ceremonial or common law, contracted prior to April 5, 1956.

Now if your Common Law Marriage was valid prior to 1956 in Mississippi and you and the Mrs. are still alive and together, then your marriage is valid.  Interestingly, if you have a valid Common Law Marriage from another state Mississippi will also recognize that.  16 states still recognize Common Law Marriage according to Find Law and in the 1980’s Mississippi recognized a Common Law Marriage of a couple from Georgia.  They eventually relocated to Mississippi and the wife sought and was granted a divorce.  George v. George, 389 So.2d 1389 (Miss. 1980).

Don’t count on a Common Law Marriage for marital purposes, and don’t believe your “spouse” if they tell you you’re married and you have not followed the State licensure requirements.

Matthew is a family law attorney and was married using the post 1956 Mississippi methods.   

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You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@BowTielawyer.ms

Shhh…CONFIDENTIAL.

Keeping secrets is my business.

Attorney client confidentiality and privilege are legal terms of art. Today’s blog will deal with confidentiality and privilege will be in a follow up blog.

Confidentiality is an ethical obligation on the the attorney to keep your business, your business. That means that your identity, the fact you called, or had an appointment, and the content of the discussions are all private. It means it is kept a secret to the extent it needs to be.

Confidentiality does not mean you may not disclose some information to others. If there is a pending suit and I am hired and file on your behalf then those facts are no longer confidential. If I need to disclose some facts to have an expert evaluate them, then to that extent, the disclosure to a third party, is no longer confidential. However, confidentiality can apply to third parties, including; experts, other attorneys in the firm, and staff in the firm.

The American Bar Assoc. Model Rule 1.6, states:

“A lawyer shall not reveal information relating to the representation of a client unless the client gives informed consent, the disclosure is impliedly authorized in order to carry out the representation or the disclosure is permitted by paragraph (b).”

“The rule prohibits a lawyer from sharing any information learned about their client–whether learned directly from the client or not–that is related to the representation without permission from the client. This is a broad duty. However…there are a number of instances where disclosure is permitted without a client’s consent, including preventing death or substantial bodily harm, preventing the client from committing a crime or fraud that will injure another, preventing or mitigating harm that may result from a crime committed by the client, compliance with other law or a court order, securing legal advice about compliance with the rule, establishing claims and defenses in the event of a dispute between the lawyer and the client, or resolving potential conflicts of interest for the lawyer. Given these numerous exceptions, a lawyer must pay close attention to the particular facts of their situation when determining whether disclosure is permitted.” ABA, Model Rule 1.6

 

Matthew Thompson is a Mississippi Family Law Attorney and keeps your secrets.

Even $273 Million reasons couldn’t bring us back together…

5 months ago Mike got divorced.

It was a 15-year long marriage. For much of it Mike was unemployed. Eileen had had enough. Eileen had to pay Mike alimony based on their respective earnings, earning capacities and work histories.

5 months later Mike won $273 million dollars in the New Jersey lottery.

Upon learning of the win, Eileen said “He’s not appealing to me all of a sudden because he has this money.”

Mike responded, “$270 million does not make me appealing to her — that’s what she said?”

“It’s over with…I just want her to stop being in my life.”

While it appears no amount of money could salvage this relationship, Mike plans to salve his wounds with a new pickup truck, a vacation and listening to his lawyer.

Eileen has a basis to modify and possibly terminate her alimony obligations to Mike. Win, win.

Matthew Thompson is an Alimony Lawyer in Mississippi which just approved lotteries. Get ready!