Tag Archives: Grounds for Divorce

Marriage in Mississippi- Until Death…Irretrievable Breakdown is Dead.

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!

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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Family Law Bill of the Day Mississippi Style

The legislature is in session.  Saturday Night Live once referred to  the Mississippi Legislature as the “hissing possums.”


But, today’s blog is about proposed legislation.  Senate Bill 2342-(sb2342in).

This Bill’s intent is to add a 13th “fault ground” to Mississippi Law. This ground would provide for a divorce being granted upon 5 years of separation in fact.  This means if you and your spouse are married, but not living together for five years or longer and at least one of you wants a divorce, you can get a divorce.  It further provides that if there are minor children that the Chancellor may deny the divorce if a divorce is found to  not be in the children’s best interests.

This is a much needed change in Mississippi law and a step in the right direction.  Some may say 5 years is too long, but it is better than nothing and better than the law as it currently is.

Who says that? I do.

Read about the current 12 fault grounds.

Read Why You Should Care About This Legislation here and here.

Matthew Thompson is a Family Law and Child Custody Attorney in Mississippi, Adjunct Professor at MC Law in Domestic Relations and believes this provides a much needed remedy in the current law.

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