Category Archives: Divorce

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.

Top 12 Fault Grounds for Divorce in Mississippi

MCA § 93-5-1 lists and defines the “grounds” for a fault based Divorce in Mississippi.

A divorce may be awarded based upon;

1). Natural impotency.

2). Adultery.

Unless it was committed by collusion of the parties for the purpose of procuring a divorce, or unless the parties cohabited after a knowledge by complainant of the adultery, which is Condonation (or legal forgiveness).

 3). Incarceration.  Being sentenced to any penitentiary, and not pardoned before being sent there.

4).  Abandonment.  Willful, continued and obstinate desertion for the space of one (1) year.

 5). Habitual drunkenness.


  6). Habitual Drug Use.  Habitual and excessive use of opium, morphine or other like drug.

7). Cruelty.  Habitual cruel and inhuman treatment.

 8). Idiocy.  Having mental illness or an intellectual disability at the time of marriage, if the party complaining did not know of that infirmity.

 9). Bigamy.  Marriage to some other person at the time of the pretended marriage between the parties.

10). Pregnancy of the wife by another person at the time of the marriage, if the husband did not know of the pregnancy.

 11). 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.

12).  Insanity.   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 and causes thereof, confined in an institution for persons with mental illness for a period of at least three (3) years immediately preceding the commencement of the action…(see statute for additional language).

These are the grounds for Divorce in Mississippi.  These must be proven through testimony, evidence and corroborated in order to be awarded a Divorce by Chancery Courts in Mississippi.

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

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Labor Day and Visitation

With Labor Day approaching it is a good time to reflect on the contributions and achievements of American workers.  Those efforts are the reason we celebrate  Labor Day, and have since it became a Federal holiday in 1894.

Labor_day : Labor Day Design  with the handoff worker holding the wrench Stock Photo

Labor Day is also a good reminder for paying attention to visitation issues.  It is extremely common in the divorce agreements that I prepare that the non-custodial parent receive additional time, more than the every other weekends that seem “standard.”  I often include that the weekend extends through the Monday holiday.  This gives that parent additional time with the child of uninterrupted visitation.

In fact, I have a schedule of all Federal and State Holidays and routinely have this specifically addressed in custody/visitation agreements.  There is almost one Monday holiday in every month.  These times add up and provide both parents additional welcomed time with the child and perhaps, even, a much needed break.  Pay attention to the details when ironing out the specifics in a custody/visitation agreement and make sure you address the other holidays and not just the “big” ones.