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

Arrested & Divorced; Just Say No!

Everyone knows that Adultery is a fault ground for divorce in Mississippi. Adultery is defined as sexual intercourse with a  person of the opposite sex, not your spouse. It also must be uncondoned, which means legally forgiven by the other spouse, and it cannot have been committed in collusion with the other spouse just to gain a divorce. MCA § 93-5-1.

However, Adultery may also be considered crime!

§ 97-29-1. Adultery and fornication; unlawful cohabitation 

If any man and woman shall unlawfully cohabit, whether in adultery or fornication, they shall be fined in any sum not more than five hundred dollars each, and imprisoned in the county jail not more than six months; and it shall not be necessary, to constitute the offense, that the parties shall dwell together publicly as husband and wife, but it may be proved by circumstances which show habitual sexual intercourse.

So in addition to having a divorce granted against the offending party they could also be arrested and prosecuted and face a $500.00 fine and/or up to 6 months in the county jail. And that may not even be the worst of it with the potential for an Alienation of Affection lawsuit out there. (It’s  actionable to sue someone for the breakdown of your marriage, a blog for another day).

In the words of Nancy Reagan, “Just Say No!”

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Why the Bow Tie?

Okay, here is the blog that ALL of you have been waiting for.  Why the Bow Tie?  Why do I wear it? Where did it come from?  Do you tie it yourself?

First of all, yes.  My bow ties are real and I tie them myself.  Tying one is very similar to a shoelace, it’s not hard, just takes some practice.

Where do I get them?  Most any place that has ties.  I get most from Belk or similar type stores.  I have a few really “nice” ones from fine men’s haberdasheries, but their quality is not far superior to any others. I have a few from on-line places and several were gifts. Always a good gift. Hint, hint.

Several years ago I was having lunch with Mark Chinn (legal mentor, former boss, and still great friend ) and we were discussing branding. Mark wears nice suits and wears a hat. He has a fedora hat, actually several, and he wears them in part as his style, but also for practical reasons like sun protection.  He is well-known and identifiable by his hat(s).  As we discussed my brand, I wanted something simple, memorable, different and not a hat.

If I had started wearing hats and stood next to Mark in his, I would look ridiculous. Like Twins with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito ridiculous.

What about a bow tie?  We had a firm event coming up, our annual divorce firm Valentine’s party (aren’t we clever), and I thought that would be a fine time to unveil the bow tie.  I went to Mozingo Clothiers, just up the street from my office and with Charlie’s help picked out a fine pinkish, purplish bow tie, that looked quite festive. Charlie showed me how he ties them, tied it for me and I left with the tie pre-tied.  It had buttons on the back, as most do.

As I mulled over wearing the bow tie, I thought, “everyone is going to ask if I tied it…I have to say yes, truthfully.”  I untied it, having never tied a bow tie before and on my second attempt did a pretty fine job, with the help of Charlie’s lesson and a great you tube video.

That night I had lots of compliments and of course, “Did you tie it yourself?”  I crowed “absolutely”.  I have worn a bow tie ever since.

I have had many compliments in Court, at Court, and from Court on the bow tie.  My best story from Court was when I appeared for the first time in front of an out of county Judge, meaning a Judge I do not appear before regularly .  She commented on my tie approvingly.  Court went fine.  I was back in her Courtroom some weeks later and had my back turned as the Judge approached me and asked me to turn around so she could see what color bow tie I was wearing that day. I knew I was on to something.

That is why I enjoy and wear bow ties. To be different, to be remembered and because its my style.

Footballs and Labradors: Wild Custody Battles & Compromises

With High School and College Football in full action it reminded me of some of the lighter, or at least non-traditional, custody battles that I have been involved in.

 

 

Season Football Tickets-  I was involved in a case where the parties were arguing over who got the season football tickets.

The tickets were secured by one party who had been getting them for years, but were actually paid for by the other party, so both felt they had a legitimate claim, additionally both genuinely wanted the tickets. It was not posturing by the wife to get a better deal or more support.  The solution was joint custody.

Each picked certain games that they would attend each year and on the ones that both wanted to attend they agreed to alternate even years and odd years to determine who got to go.  Another interesting aside was that there were 2 tickets for each game.  Who the guest would be was also an issue. Neither wanted the other to be able to take a bf/gf. The compromise there was that the other ticket would be used by a family member or a minor friend of the children. (Minor meaning under 21, not just small).  The custody of the tickets was one of the last issues to get resolved. It really did matter.

Dogs- In a similar vein, I have handled several cases involving pets.  Pets, under Mississippi law are considered personal property (like an item or thing), however the parties are free to treat pets as members of the family should they so elect, and many do.

The parties ultimately agreed on a week-on, week-off custody arrangement for the dog to be with each “parent.”  The agreement also addressed the expenses associated with the dog, including food, care and vet bills. Don’t forget those items!

Almost anything can be negotiated.