Tag Archives: domestic violence

Fault Grounds for Divorce in Mississippi: Updated!

The Mississippi Legislature amended the Fault Grounds for divorce last term to include spousal domestic violence and tweaked the corroboration requirement. The current Fault Grounds for Divorce are below. You only need one.

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§ 93-5-1. Causes for divorce

  • Divorces from the bonds of matrimony may be decreed to the injured party for any one or more of the following twelve (12) causes:
    • First.  Natural impotency.
    • Second.  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 a knowledge by complainant of the adultery.
    • Third.  Being Sentenced to any Penitentiary, and not pardoned before being sent there.
    • Fourth.  Willful, Continued and Obstinate Desertion for the space of one (1) year.
    • Fifth.  Habitual Drunkenness.
    • Sixth.  Habitual and Excessive use of Opium, Morphine or other like Drug.
    • Seventh.  Habitual Cruel and Inhuman Treatment, including Spousal Domestic Abuse.

   Spousal Domestic Abuse may be established through the reliable testimony of a single credible witness, who may be the injured party, and includes, but is not limited to:

   That the injured party’s spouse attempted to cause, or purposely, knowingly or recklessly caused bodily injury to the injured party, or that the injured party’s spouse attempted by physical menace to put the injured party in fear of imminent serious bodily harm; or

   That the injured party’s spouse engaged in a pattern of behavior against the injured party of threats or intimidation, emotional or verbal abuse, forced isolation, sexual extortion or sexual abuse, or stalking or aggravated stalking as defined in Section 97-3-107, if the pattern of behavior rises above the level of unkindness or rudeness or incompatibility or want of affection.

  • Eighth.  Having Mental Illness or an intellectual disability at the time of marriage, if the party complaining did not know of that infirmity.
  • Ninth.  Marriage to some other Person at the time of the pretended marriage between the parties.
  • Tenth.  Pregnancy of the wife by another Person at the time of the marriage, if the husband did not know of the pregnancy.
  • Eleventh.  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.
  • Twelfth.  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 complete description).

Domestic Violence; The Lethality Index.

Unfortunately Domestic Violence happens. The ones that “love” us the most hurt us the most.

Domestic Violence is a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner.  Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.  http://www.justice.gov/ovw/domestic-violence

Domestic Violence can be deadly. Below is what is commonly referred to as the “Lethality Index.

The numbers below in parenthesis indicate the factor by which a domestic violence victim’s risk of homicide is increased relative to other domestic violence victims. For example, if the abuser has used or threatened to use weapons, the victim’s risk of domestic violence homicide is 20.2 times that of the average domestic violence victim.

The Top Five Risk Factors

The numbers in parenthesis indicate the factor by which a domestic violence victim’s risk of homicide is increased relative to other domestic violence victims.

  1. Has the abuser ever used, or threatened to use, a gun, knife, or other weapon against victim? (20.2x )

  2. Ever threatened to kill or injure victim? (14.9x) Document complete and accurate quotes of the threats

  3. Ever tried to strangle (choke) the victim? (9.9x)

  4. Is abuser violently or constantly jealous? (9.2x )

  5. Has abuser ever forced victim to have sex? (7.6x )

The US Dept. of Justice has compiled a number of studies into a “lethality assessment list” of 17 risk factors for domestic violence homicide. (The full lethality risk scale can be found at www.ncjrs.org/pdffiles1/jr000250e.pdf)

 Have an exit strategy.

Follow the blog: BowTieLawyer Visit the website: Thompson Law Firm

You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms

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How to Leave a Bad Situation.

It’s all to common that I encounter someone in an abusive relationship.  The getting out is the hard part.

Sira Anamwong/ freedigitalphotos.net

It’s usually best to prepare to leave. If possible;

  • Make sure the Children are safe.
  • See a Lawyer.
  • Have some cash.
  • Get valuables, papers and irreplaceables.
  • Get out.

Sometimes it’s not possible to prepare.

  • Get Children
  • Get Out
  • Call the Police
  • IN this Order.

Domestic Violence is real, knows no class boundaries and happens.

Don’t accept it.

Matthew Thompson is a Chancery Court Attorney in Mississippi and advises victims of Domestic Violence to seek protection and press charges.

Follow the blog: BowTieLawyer Visit the website: Thompson Law Firm

You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms.

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