Tag Archives: Fault

Where to Get a Divorce…When you Cannot Get a Divorce in Mississippi.

It could be IMPOSSIBLE to get a divorce in Mississippi!

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Mississippi is one of two States that requires either an Agreement to all issues to get a divorce or absent that complete agreement, requires corroborated proof of fault grounds against your spouse.

So, if your spouse does not agree for any reasons you must have fault grounds. However, all is not lost. Lots of conduct, bad conduct, could be considered fault grounds…

Additionally, you can leave the state. While not always a great option it can work and in a few circumstances, Mississippi law would “require” it if you had to have a divorce.

48 other states essentially provide if you want a divorce you can get a divorce, but they also have certain jurisdictional/residency requirements to be able to seek relief from those Courts.

Mississippi requires you be a resident for 6 months, with the intent to remain and you may not move here for the purpose of seeking a divorce, not that any sane person would.

Washington State: No minimum in-state residency requirement.
Wyoming: None if the marriage occurred in the state and the filing spouse has lived in Wyoming since the marriage date. Otherwise, 60 days.

Nevada: 45 days
Spouse filing for divorce must plan to live in state indefinitely.
Must file sworn affidavit from a Nevada resident having personal knowledge of the filing spouse meeting the minimum residency requirement.

Alabama: No in-state minimum if both spouses live in state. 180 days if only one spouse lives in state.

I have included other states for informational purposes only. I am only licensed in Mississippi and cannot give advice regarding other state laws. The link provided was found on the internet! Caveat emptor!

Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney in Mississippi and supports a “walking around sense” change to Mississippi law.

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Clarion-Ledger: Protecting families, or prolonging misery?

Protecting families, or prolonging misery?

Matthew Thompson is a Mississippi family law attorney and professor, and having difficult, drawn-out and costly divorces would be good for his pocketbook.

But Thompson supports reform and changes to divorce laws, “even though it’s against my own self interests.”

“The current laws make it expensive, and in some instances, impossible to get a divorce,” said Thompson, whose firm focuses on family law statewide and who is a professor teaching domestic relations at Mississippi College’s law school.

Thompson said the Legislature’s recent divorce law reform, removing a corroboration requirement for abused spouses, is a needed change.

“Our law has required cruelty claims be corroborated with evidence beyond that of the victim’s testimony,” Thompson said. “… Even if the court believed you, you had to have a neighbor, family member, police report or picture, or you didn’t have corroboration … Now, if the court finds the victim truthful and credible, the court can accept that. If you take a step back and think, that makes sense. Our judges have always been the lie detector, always the barometer of whether someone was credible.

“There is some form of abuse in a vast number of divorce cases,” Thompson said. “Not every one, but a lot of them. When you drill down and include physical, mental, emotional, verbal abuse — It’s a significant number of cases. We as human beings treat the people we are supposed to love the most the worst.”

Thompson said he supports Mississippi creating a “no-fault” ground for divorce. South Dakota is the only other state without such a ground. He said opposition to this change, from those saying it will weaken the sanctity of marriage and increase divorces, is misguided. In practice, Mississippi’s lack of a no-fault ground allows one spouse to hold up a divorce, sometimes for years.

“The idea behind making it difficult to get a divorce is that Mississippi is promoting marriage,” Thompson said. “But when you go 10 years and it costs tens of thousands of dollars — those aren’t intact families trying to get back together.

“Our law promotes divorce blackmail,” Thompson said. “… You have to pay what I say, or agree to what I want, or I won’t agree to a divorce … You have a fundamental, constitutional right to marriage, according to (a U.S. Supreme Court ruling). Shouldn’t you have a fundamental right to a divorce? I guess the counter to that is that you don’t have to get married.”

Thompson said some of the moral and religious arguments focused on divorce policies should be focused on the front-end, marriage policies.

“Our state has made it phenomenally easy to get into a marriage,” Thompson said. “There used to be a three-day wait, used to be a blood test requirement. But now you just go to the circuit clerk and pay $25.

“Studies show having mom and dad happily married and living together is what’s best for children and families,” Thompson said. “Having mom and dad get along and living separately would be second best. Mom and dad living together and fighting and being miserable, whether it’s violent or just cold war, that’s not the best. If this is really about protecting families, there are ways to do that, but still have an appropriate and reasonable means to get out of a marriage. It shouldn’t take a beating or physical violence to get there.”

Contact Geoff Pender at 601-961-7266 or gpender@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter.

What is an Affair?

Mississippi law defines an affair as uncondoned sexual intercourse with a person of the opposite sex, not your spouse.

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This definition is evolving, however. With recent changes in the law regarding who can get married the requirement that it be a person of the opposite sex is no longer a valid limitation. Additionally, it must be uncondoned which means without either permission before or forgiveness after.

Because affairs are so secretive in nature the Court can use circumstantial proof to find you guilty of Adultery. Upon a showing of inclination and opportunity the Court can conclude you cheated even over your absolute denial and total absence of DNA evidence! Frankly, DNA evidence and divorce Courts have not caught up with CSI, yet.

Inclination (or infatuation) is the many, many number of calls, texts, emails and love letters, communicating all hours of the night and day. The contact between the spouse and the paramour.

Opportunity is just them being alone together long enough to… This could be the house, car, park, hotel, motel or back alley.

Does other stuff count, as opposed to just sexual intercourse? It could. It also stands to reason that the Court could infer that if you are doing other stuff it includes intercourse.

Matthew Thompson is a Mississippi Divorce Attorney and reminds you to not have an affair.

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