Category Archives: Divorce

Sometimes You’re Just Not Ready…

Family law is tough. It is tough to go through, deal with, and be involved in.

It can also be unfair. But wait, the Judge has to be fair, right? Yes, but the Judge’s definition of fair and yours will be different.

Also, the whole circumstance may be unfair. You can live your best life and still find yourself in the divorce attorney’s office.

The handful of times that I have seen even good results feel bad is when one party is just not ready. They did not want a divorce. They did not want to be in my office. And, they did not do anything (or any one thing) to result in needing a divorce.

These are often the hardest circumstances. The client may be right. This may all be unfair, but it nonetheless is happening.

So what do you do if you realize it’s too soon and you’re not ready? Get an experienced lawyer. Confer with experts; a counselor, a CPA or financial planner, your pastor, your trusted family and friends.

Get prepared and be intentional, even if you don’t want to.

Matthew Thompson is a child custody and divorce lawyer in Mississippi and knows when it’s too soon. However, the law doesn’t always allow for the mental processing necessary for all clients.

Stop Writing on Exhibits and Pictures

(Attorney hands witness a document)

Q:  Is this a true and accurate copy?

A: Yes…uhm, no…I don’t know whose writing this is. I don’t know what this means…

Opposing Attorney: Objection. It’s obviously not a true copy, as the original does not have writing and marks on it.

Court: Objection, sustained.

Court rules on Evidence do not always make sense. Something that is obvious to you and most reasonable persons may very well violate the requirements of authentication of documents.

In almost every case witnesses write on documents and pictures. You think highlighting where he called you a “piece of work” adds emphasis. It may just render that email useless. Yes, even circling the curse words and disparaging comments can render that exhibit not authentic.

Do not write on the email chain, do not use sharpie on the photographs (certainly not the actual photograph). So how do you show empahsis?

Use Post-It notes. Use as many as your heart desires. Use multiple per email. Use different colors of Post-It notes. Use different sizes. Have at it!

Matthew Thompson is a civil trial lawyer and wants you to be able to use ALL of your exhibits.

Thompson Addison, pllc. (601)850-8000

Womp Womp – Mississippi Says No Common Sense Change for Family Law

Mississippi SENATE BILL NO. 2644 proposed common sense changes to divorce laws. The legislation met a common fate of most proposed changes to bring MS in line with 48 other states. IT DIED.

Description: Divorce; authorize where marriage is irretrievably broken.
Disposition:    Dead

The proposal would have allowed for a basis for divorce if parties had been actually separated for over 1-year and would have allowed the Chancellor to grant a divorce if he/she was convinced that the marriage was irretrievably broken.

That is all that was proposed. It failed. Again.

Matthew Thompson is a divorce/family law attorney and still supports common sense changes to family law in Mississippi, as he has for 18-years.

Mississippi Considers Irretrievable Breakdown…Again.

Mississippi considers legislation to make common sense changes to Family Law.


This proposal is significant because it would allow for a divorce if the parties have been separated for over a year, regardless of the reason and additionally would allow the Court to divorce a couple if the Court was convinced the marriage was over and beyond repair, regardless if other fault grounds existed. These are just common sense changes.

These changes would bring Mississippi closer in line with 48 other states with regards to divorce. While still not a true no-fault provision, this allows for the possibility of relief in most cases when it was previously not. What do you mean by that, you ask? Financial/divorce blackmail is legal in Mississippi under its current law.

Mississippi does NOT have a no-fault divorce option. Either you have fault grounds or an agreement to all issues between you and your spouse and if you have neither of those, you cannot get a divorce in Mississippi.

These changes, or something similar, are kicked around every year. Last year a blue-ribbon panel assembled by the legislature recommended changes and it didn’t happen. These are much needed and will actually help serve and protect families in Mississippi.

Matthew Thompson is a Family Law attorney in Mississippi and supports these changes. (601) 850-8000

Tip for the Day:

Happy Independence Day!

Don’t Lie to Your Attorney- or there will be Consequences…

This is not a threat. This is a fact.

Lawyers give their best advice based on what the client tells them. Based on what the “facts” are can significantly impact not only the outcome, but also the advice given.

Routinely, clients have denied certain conduct and based upon those assertion, advice is given. Then, the other side files a pleading alleging the very conduct. Many times I have called opposing counsel and asked that they provide the proof, as it may well change my advice.

When you lie to your lawyer it impacts your case. It impacts the advice given. It impacts the strategy of the case. It also impacts what your lawyer believes from you thereafter. AND, it can also impact the outcome of your case.

So, did you lie to your attorney about a material, critical part of your case? Did that lie effect the advice given and strategy used? Did that lie come back to bite you in the tail (and could have been minimized had you just told the truth)? So, think long and hard about lying to your attorney – – and don’t do it.

Matthew Thompson is a civil litigation attorney and knows the adage of if your lips are moving you’re lying, but still wants to believe the clients.

Marriage in Mississippi- Until Death…Irretrievable Breakdown is Dead.

A proposed bill died a quiet death in committee yesterday, the same committee that helped in the drafting and promoting it. This bill had previously passed the Senate as well…

In November, I wrote about the “word on the street” of changes coming in Family Law in Mississippi. Last summer the Mississippi Legislature assembled a blue-ribbon panel of lawyers, judges, legislators, law professors and the like to assess some of Mississippi’s more difficult or out-of-the-main-stream family law laws.

This panel suggested multiple changes with child support/age of majority and adding a 13th ground for divorce- irretrievable breakdown. This change would bring Mississippi in line with approximately 48 other states.

Part of the reason for the blue-ribbon panel was to gain insight from the practitioners, judges and persons dealing with the families this would impact. The rumor mill was that this was a done deal, was much-needed and would alleviate what one supreme court justice described as “financial blackmail.”

Yoggi Berra said it first, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.”

Senate Bill 2643 (Miss 2022) died in Committee on March 1, 2022, when it was referred to Judiciary A, by Speaker, Philip Gun.

“4   02/10 (S) Transmitted To House
   5   03/01 (H) Referred To Judiciary A
   6   03/01 (H) Died In Committee”

Unfortunately, we may never know all of the behind-the-scenes details on why this was studied, proposed, promoted, passed, referred and allowed to whither on the vine. But, it was a much needed change in Mississippi law and one that would do more to promote family harmony than anything else the Mississippi legislature could do.

This harkens back to 2017 when a legislator single-handedly killed attempts to add domestic violence as a specific element of a cruelty based divorce and allow for the victim’s testimony to be sufficient proof of such. Once the domestic violence provision was struck the firestorm that erupted caused an about-face of the legislator and the language reappeared in another bill…lets hope for some common sense and that history repeats itself.

Matthew Thompson is a Mississippi Divorce and Civil Defense Attorney and is routing for another Change of Heart!