Tag Archives: Mississippi

Identification is Now Required to Vote in Mississippi (Voter ID)

Mississippi recently enacted a Voter ID requirement for most citizens in the State.  Regardless of your politics, it is now the law.  The Mississippi Secretary of State, Delbert Hosemann, has done a great job of getting the word out of the new requirement and how to get your Voter ID.  Here’s how;

Voter ID Logo1

Who needs an ID?
All Mississippians voting at the polls will be required to show a photo ID card. Also, individuals voting in person by absentee ballot in the Circuit Clerk’s office prior to Election Day will be required to show a photo ID.

There are two exemptions:

Any Mississippi registered voter who states he/she does not have acceptable photo identification because of a religious objection to being photographed shall be entitled to vote by affidavit ballot without being required to show a photo ID.  The ballot will not be rejected for this reason if the voter signs a separate affidavit before the Circuit Clerk within five days of the election.


Eligible Mississippi voters will not need a photo ID if voting by absentee ballot by mail instead of voting in person at the polls or at a Circuit Clerk’s office. This exemption also applies to eligible voters who are Uniformed Military and Overseas Voters (UOCAVA) who cast an absentee ballot by FAX or email.


  1. A driver’s license
  2. A photo ID card issued by a branch, department, or entity of the State of Mississippi
  3. A United States passport
  4. A government employee ID card
  5. A firearms license
  6. A student photo ID issued by an accredited Mississippi university, college, or community/junior college
  7. A United States military ID
  8. A tribal photo ID
  9. Any other photo ID issued by any branch, department, agency or entity of the United States government or any State government
  10. A Mississippi Voter Identification Card

Beginning in January 2014, all Mississippi Circuit Clerk’s offices will be able to issue a FREE Mississippi Voter Identification Card to any eligible Mississippi voter who does NOT have any other form of acceptable photo ID.

To get FREE Mississippi Voter Identification Card, take any ONE of the following types of documents to the Circuit Clerk’s office:

  1. Any expired but valid photo identity document having the voter’s name and photograph issued by the U.S. government or any U.S. state
  2. A birth certificate or any other document with the voter’s full legal name, date and place of birth
  3. A Social Security card
  4. A Medicare card
  5. A Medicaid card
  6. A Mississippi Voter Registration Card
  7. Any of the following, as long as it includes the voter’s name and current address:
    • Utility bill issued within the preceding six months
    • Bank statement issued within the preceding six months
    • Paycheck issued within the preceding six months
    • Government check issued within the preceding six months
    • IRS Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement issued within the current calendar year


CALL 1.855.868.3745    or        1.844.MSVOTER

or visit


Matthew Thompson is a practicing attorney in Mississippi Family Law Courts reminding you to do your part and Vote.

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

Child Support, DHS and Why You Should Care; Pay Attention or You May Pay More!

Child Support is the court ordered obligation the non-custodial parent pays the custodial parent for the necessary child related expenses. Usually Dad pays it directly to Mom in a divorce situation and in paternity cases it’s more often through DHS, the Department of Human Services-Child Support Enforcement Unit. (dah-duhn) (the Law and Order “sound” being referenced just now.)



It is standard that if dad is delinquent on payments or mom seeks state benefits, opening a case with DHS will cause the monies to be redirected through DHS, and possibly a Withholding Order be issued against the payor.  The law provides that DHS can do this summarily upon application with minimal notice requirements and does not require a modification of your Court Order by the Court which originally ordered it.

This is kind of a big deal.  In plain English, this means that if mom says your late, DHS swings into action.  They send you a letter stating you are behind, threaten to suspend your license, send a Withholding Order to your work and assume guilt automatically.  This creates lots of hassle and headache when it’s not true.  Additionally, when it’s not true, it takes filing an action in Court to fix it, securing an Order.  There are usually no consequences for mom and she can do it again if she wants.

Well, DHS is stepping up their enforcement another notch. Mom can go in and just say, “I want him to pay through DHS.”  She does not have to allege any delinquency, she does not have to apply for other state benefits.  She pays $25, opens a case and dad is notified that from that point he is to pay directly to and through DHS.  If dad does not pay directly, DHS will pursue contempt and arrearage against him.   And DHS considers the letter, which dad may or may not have even received, as sufficient and reasonable notice to dad and treats dad’s continued payments to mom as “gifts.” All of this without formal Court involvement and in my view far short of “due process,” but nonetheless valid as of now. MCA 43-19-35, et seq.

So if you are paying child support directly and get something from DHS, DO NOT IGNORE IT.  It could have serious implications on who and what you pay.  Notify your attorney immediately.  If you are receiving child support and are having issues with the payor, consider having it redirected through DHS.  It is a much less expensive alternative to a private attorney when that deadbeat ain’t paying.

Whether you like the DHS process or not it is being enforced force and taking effect.

Matthew Thompson, a Child Support Lawyer and Family Law Adj. Professor at MC Law, encourages you to know your rights and obligations when it comes to Child Support. Pay your Support and Pay it Often!

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

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