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

Depressing Depression.

Depression is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Fortunately, it is also treatable. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease a person’s ability to function at work and at home.



Depression symptoms include:

  • Feeling sad or having a depressed mood
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
  • Changes in appetite — weight loss or gain unrelated to dieting
  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Loss of energy or increased fatigue
  • Increase in purposeless physical activity (e.g., hand-wringing or pacing) or slowed movements and speech (actions observable by others)
  • Feeling worthless or guilty
  • Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
  • Thoughts of death or suicide


Depression affects an estimated one in 15 adults (6.7%) in any given year. And one in six people (16.6%) will experience depression at some time in their life. Depression can strike at any time, but on average, first appears during the late teens to mid-20s. Women are more likely than men to experience depression. Some studies show that one-third of women will experience a major depressive episode in their lifetime.


Depression is a common side effect of being involved in a family law case. Experiencing depression as part of a divorce and/or custody case is normal. It does not mean that you are crazy, weak or broken. Also, being a part of a case can exacerbate symptoms of depression.

Below is a simple “test” that is available online. It is the Beck Depression Inventory. It is the standard in helping diagnosing depression.

The Beck Depression Inventory (BDIBDI-1ABDI-II), created by Aaron T. Beck, is a 21-question multiple-choice self-report inventory, one of the most widely used psychometric tests for measuring the severity of depression.

Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney and reminds you that an online test is no replacement for an evaluation by your physician, counselor or healthcare professional.

Get a Checkup.

Going to the Dr.  is not what we most look forward to.images.jpg

However, it is a good idea. Getting a check up is a part of a healthy life and if you are dealing with the stress and anxiety of a Family Law matter it is all the more important to live a healthy life.

In custody cases your physical and mental health matters. It is one of the Albright factors that the Court must consider in determining custody of children. It is one of the Armstrong factors; health and earning capacity are used to determine whether or not to award Alimony and these factors impact how much and how long the award may be for.

Health insurance coverage and expenses is an issue in almost every case. Pre-existing conditions, insurability and availability of health coverage matter.

Get a check up and get checked out.

Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney in Mississippi and recommends that you get a medical health check up.

Don’t be Cruel.

Elvis sang it well. “Don’t be cruel…”



Mississippi law was recently changed to specifically include spousal domestic abuse as a fault ground within the already existing habitual cruel and inhuman treatment fault ground. Below is the statute.

Miss. Code Ann. § 93-5-1
§ 93-5-1. Causes allowed

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.

This change is primarily significant for a few reasons. It changed the corroboration requirement. Previously it required testimony and/or evidence not only from the victim but also from another witness or source, such as a third-party or the admission of police or medical records. Now, if the Judge finds the victim/witness credible the Court may grant the award of a fault based divorce.

Additionally, the statute specifically provides for a fault based divorce to be granted based on abuse other than physical, including emotional, verbal, sexual, and stalking behavior.

These are significant and welcomed changes in Mississippi law. More info on fault grounds can be read here.

Matthew Thompson is a divorce attorney in Mississippi. Only two states in the Country still require fault grounds for a divorce if the parties cannot agree to all issues; Mississippi and South Dakota.