Category Archives: Divorce

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tlf Spotlight: Chad King

Facebook, despite its many flaws, has a great feature showing memories and photographs from the past. Today it reminded me of Chad King.

Chad and I have worked together for 15 years in the family law arena. Neither was a lawyer so many years ago…

Chad brings with him over a decade of family law experience, having served as law clerk, paralegal and office administrator over his many years of working in the legal community, and now as Associate Attorney.

Chad handles family law cases such as divorce, alimony, child custody and support and also heads up adoptions and termination of parental rights on the plaintiff’s side, as well as the defense of same.

Chad earned his Doctor of Jurisprudence from Mississippi College School of Law in 2015, where he served as President of the Family Law Society and as a Student Attorney in the Adoption Clinic. He also served as an Adjunct Professor in Paralegal Studies at Hinds Community College.

Chad is an integral partner at TLF and the many, many families in Mississippi are better off because of Chad’s service.


Chad King is a Divorce and Family Law Attorney in Mississippi  and prefers “No Tie” over a Bow Tie.

Phone: (601) 850-8000       Blog:

Fax:      (601) 499-5219    Email:

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