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!