'Irreconcilable differences' is synonymous with "no-fault" divorce. In order to file a divorce for irreconcilable differences in Mississippi, both parties must explicitly agree that a divorce is desired. A no-fault divorce is something for which the spouses must qualify, not something they are readily granted - especially in Mississippi. A Mississippi divorce attorney can help you navigate the complex legal terrain of Mississippi divorces, ensuring your assets are protected and you receive meaningful legal advice throughout this taxing experience.
The purpose of no-fault divorce is to eliminate the hassle of arguing specific wrongdoing. Many times, marriages unravel not because of one finite event or cause, rather they erode and fray over time. Fault-based divorce tends to ignore the complexities and nuances that exist within marriage; no-fault divorce eliminates the need to elucidate a single, incriminating reason behind the dissolution of a marriage. If a divorce is mutually sought and both spouses provide written consent to that effect, they can pursue a no-fault divorce.
How Do You File a Divorce For Irreconcilable Differences in Mississippi?
There are a number of requirements a married couple must meet before they can qualify for a no-fault divorce in Mississippi. These requirements are provided below.
If you intend to file your divorce in the state of Mississippi, either you or your spouse must have been residing in the state for at least 6 months. If, for example, you and your spouse had relocated to Mississippi together for work last month and then decide to pursue a divorce, you would not be able to file in the state. Most states have similar residency requirements in order to file for divorce. If you are married to someone who has lived in Mississippi for 6 months or longer, you will be able to file for divorce even if you have just moved to the state. If you and your spouse currently reside in different counties in Mississippi, you may file in either your county or theirs. If your spouse does not reside in Mississippi but you have lived there for at least 6 months, you may file in your own county.
Mutual Spousal Consent
In order to file an irreconcilable differences divorce, it is mandatory that both spouses mutually consent. If only one spouse believes the marriage is irretrievably broken, they will not be able to move forward with a divorce until their spouse gives consent to divorce them. So long as both parties agree, they can file. Alternatively, a spouse may file a fault-based divorce, citing a specific reason they seek to terminate the marriage (i.e. adultery, abuse). Spouses do not need to be legally separated for any duration of time in order to file for divorce.
Mississippi gives more leeway to spouses who want to fight a divorce than many other jurisdictions. With 'irreconcilable differences' off the table, the divorce-seeking spouse will have to provide fault-based grounds for divorce. The other spouse can contest their grounds in an effort to stop the divorce proceedings. The burden of proof lies with the divorce-seeking spouse, meaning the spouse must prove to the court that the allegations are true.
Mississippi has a unique feature in its family law prohibiting couples who are pregnant from getting a divorce until the child is born.
Mississippi Family Law Attorney
If you meet all of the qualifications for a no-fault divorce in Mississippi, the next step is to hire an experienced Mississippi divorce attorney to handle your case and mind your best interests. No aspect of divorce is simple. A lawyer will ensure that you get everything to which you are legally entitled, fighting for a settlement that is ultimately beneficial to you. Bear in mind, a lawyer may not be the only professional you must hire during your divorce proceedings. Depending on the circumstances and complexity of your case, you may require tax experts, financial planners, appraisers, and child custody experts.
What Happens When You File an Irreconcilable Differences Divorce in Mississippi?
With the aid and advice of your attorney, a Joint Complaint for Divorce will be filed with the court. The filing fee must be paid prior to filing in the chancery clerk's office. Once the joint complaint has been filed, there is a statutory waiting period of 60 days. Financial statements will be exchanged. Your attorney will assist you and your spouse in drafting the settlement agreement detailing the allocation of assets and debts.
In a no-fault divorce, absolutely everything must be agreed upon. This includes child custody, child support, equitable distribution of assets and personal property, bank accounts, retirement funds, debts including mortgages, and alimony, where applicable. If even one of these aspects is in dispute, an Irreconcilable Differences divorce cannot be granted until the issues at hand are resolved.
Can I Get A Divorce By Default In Mississippi?
In many states, if divorce-seeking spouse files and the other spouse never "answers" the complaint, the court allows a default judgment against the non-responding spouse and a divorce can move forward. In Mississippi, this is not the case. Under Mississippi 93-5-7, if your spouse does not answer the complaint, a default judgment is not entered. The complaint goes to trial, even in the absence of the other spouse's active participation. A trial would ensue so that the divorce-seeking spouse could prove his or her grounds for divorce.
Irreconcilable Differences Divorce Lawyer in Mississippi
If you and your spouse have mutually agreed to an irreconcilable differences divorce in Mississippi - or are close to reaching an agreement - contact Mississippi family law attorney William Housley today for a consultation.