Tag Archives: Cruelty

4 of the “Biggest” Grounds for Divorce; And the rest of the FAULT grounds too…

Approximately half of all marriages end in divorce.

Stuart Miles /freedigitalphotos.net

In Mississippi, parties are limited to the reasons that they can get a divorce based on FAULT.  Mississippi Code § 93-5-1 lists the Causes for Divorce, and below they are listed in order as most often plead; 

#1.  Habitual cruel and inhuman treatment.

#2.  Adultery, unless it should appear that it was committed by collusion of the parties for the purpose of procuring a divorce, or unless the parties cohabited after knowledge by complainant of the adultery.

#3.  Habitual drunkenness.
#4.  Habitual and excessive use of opium, morphine or other like Drug(s).

Lesser plead, but still valid Grounds for Divorce include;
#5.  Desertion, Willful, continued and obstinate  for the space of one (1) year.

#6.  Sentenced to any Penitentiary, and not pardoned before being sent there.
#7.  Having Mental Illness or an intellectual disability at the time of marriage, if the party complaining did not know of that infirmity.
#8.  Bigamy, Marriage to some other person at the time of the pretended marriage between the parties.
#9.  Pregnancy of the wife by another person at the time of the marriage, if the husband did not know of the pregnancy.
#10.  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.
#11.  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, confined in an institution for a period of at least three (3) years immediately preceding the commencement of the action.

#12.  Natural impotency.

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

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What is a “Biblical Divorce?”

I hear this term a lot, “Biblical divorce.”

Arvind Balaraman

Most commonly it means having the fault ground of Adultery as the basis for the divorce. It is widely held that this is the only “Biblical Ground” for divorce and absent Adultery you cannot or should not get a divorce.

“Biblical grounds” can also include abuse and abandonment, depending upon your denomination.  These, adding to the list the reasons that a divorce may be allowed.

Interestingly, the Bible also states “I say to you that everyone who looks at a another with lust has already committed adultery  in his heart.” Mt. 5:28 This expresses the idea that lust for another, not your spouse, is “Biblical Grounds” for divorce.

Divorce is something no one really plans for (prenups notwithstanding). It is something that is routinely despised yet,  it is also sometimes very necessary.

If you are struggling with issues of Divorce contact your clergy, counselor, or even an experienced family law attorney.  They may well help you with your struggles.

Matthew Thompson is an Attorney practicing Family Law in Mississippi and may can help you.

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Visit the website: Thompson Law Firm

You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or more information on Child Custody and Divorce. (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms.


Mississippi in the News- A Test Case on Same-Sex Divorce

Mississippi is the site of the latest same-sex challenge to laws preventing same-sex persons from getting married and seeking a divorce.


A Mississippi resident, who married her spouse in California, is now seeking that a Mississippi Court divorce them.  The couple lived in Mississippi for some time after their marriage and ultimately separated in the Magnolia State.  The case is pending in DeSoto County Chancery court and has garnered world-wide attention.

However, it may not be a walk in the park…

MS law specifically provides that a same-sex marriage is VOID.  Void means it does not exist, not that it could if everything was just right. Void=nothing.  The law goes on to specifically deny that MS has to recognize another state’s same-sex marriage.

MCA 93-1-1, (2) Any marriage between persons of the same gender is prohibited and null and void from the beginning. Any marriage between persons of the same gender that is valid in another jurisdiction does not constitute a legal or valid marriage in Mississippi.

Now before you bash MS too much for this, it is quite common that states have different laws regarding requirements for persons to get married in their respective states.  Different laws can be allowed.  For instance you can marry your niece-in-law in California, but not in Utah.  And Utah does not have to recognize the CA marriage.  Nothing to do with same gender on that restriction.  Also, most states prohibit same-sex marriage, only 14 states allow same-sex marriage, at this time.

There are several issues that are apparent in this MS pending matter.

Issue #1.  MS law, which at this time is valid and constitutional by the way, disallows their “marriage” to be recognized as a marriage.  And, if no marriage, then there can be no divorce.

Issue #2.  The Mississippian sued her spouse on Habitual Cruel and Inhuman Treatment.  The parties had been separated for over 3 years by the time of filing which may be an indicator of limited grounds regarding cruelty, which is one of the most difficult grounds to prove.  So there may not be a divorce on cruelty anyway, as the plaintiff could not meet her burden of proof.

Issue #3.   The Mississippian sued her spouse for Adultery.  Adultery, in Mississippi, is defined as “sexual intercourse with a person of the opposite sex, not your spouse.” Despite this being the Bible Belt, it is possible that Mrs. Defendant is in another relationship with another person, of her same sex, and is still not committing “adultery.” Technically speaking, of course.

Issue #4.   The Constitution’s Full Faith & Credit clause.  FF&C requires that a valid Order from one State be recognized in another.  The catch is a Marriage is not an Order, but rather a contractual arrangement between the two spouses and the state that they are being married in.  This means a  marriage is not entitled to Full Faith and Credit.  Interestingly, a divorce would be, assuming the Jurisdictional/residency requirements were met.

So, some legal mumbo-jumbo and a refrain from a little common sense results in…nothing.  That is exactly what this litigant will get from Mississippi and will likely get it in abundance.  Stay tuned for more developments.

Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney and domestic relations adj. professor at MC Law;  Keeping you abreast of the ever-changing world of family law in which we live in.

Follow the blog: BowTieLawyer Visit the websiteThompson Law FirmYou may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms