Mississippi Divorce Laws

Are you considering a divorce in Mississippi, but wonder how the process works?

Divorce is a stressful experience for most people. In fact, dissolving a marriage may seem even more complex and emotional than getting married. Understanding the divorce laws in Mississippi can help with some of your anxiety.

Before filing for divorce in Mississippi, you should understand these 5 Mississippi divorce laws.

Residency Requirement

Divorce laws in MS require you to be a resident of the state. You or your spouse must live in Mississippi for six months before the state allows you to file for divorce.

Grounds for Divorce

In your divorce court proceeding, you will need to name your grounds for divorce. Mississippi divorce laws provide two broad grounds for divorce: no-fault divorces and fault divorces (Miss. Code Ann. § 93-5-1). 

No-fault divorces

This grounds for divorce, based on irreconcilable differences, works only if the divorce is uncontested. This claim means you don’t blame anyone or anything for your divorce. If a party objects to the divorce, no-fault is not an option.

Fault divorces 

This category includes other fault-based grounds for divorce.

  • Adultery
  • Cruelty or violence
  • Willful desertion
  • Drug or alcohol addiction 
  • Impotence 
  • Incurable insanity
  • Pregnancy at the time of marriage
  • Conviction of a crime
  • A prior undissolved marriage 
  • In a line of consanguinity 

In a line of consanguinity means that one partner is a descendant of the spouse. For instance, you can’t marry your grandfather. It does not exclude distant relations from getting married. 

Divorce Alternatives

You have other options for an unhappy marriage. Other separation options include annulment and legal separation. 


Annulment erases a marriage, declaring that it never existed. An annulment is an option if one spouse is impotent, insane, incapable of consent, committing fraud, forced to marry, or pregnant by another man at the time of the marriage. The annulment option lasts for some criteria (consent, insanity, pregnancy) for the first six months of marriage.

Legal separation 

A legal separation involves court-ordered separation that does not permanently sever the marriage. In separation proceedings, you divide property and determine child custody and child support.

Child Custody and Child Support Laws

In a divorce, people typically disagree the most on child custody and child support. There are divorce laws in MS that help guide child custody and child support decisions.

Mississippi Child Custody Laws

If you and your spouse have minor children together, you should know how divorce laws in Mississippi treat child custody. The best interest of the child guides custody decisions. The state allows joint custody and recognizes grandparents’ visitation rights (Miss. Code Ann. Sections 93-5-23 through 93-5-26). 

Child Support

The non-custodial parent pays child support. The court bases the child support amount on the earnings of both parents and the number of dependents supported.

In Mississippi, a non-custodial parent will pay at least 14% of adjusted gross income toward child support. A parent pays child support until the child reaches age 21 or is emancipated (Miss. Code Ann. § 93-11-65). 

Get Legal Help for Your Mississippi Divorce

If you’re considering divorce in Mississippi, you need an expert on your side. Our experienced, compassionate Mississippi divorce lawyers will explain divorce laws in MS to you and fight for your best interests in court.

Find out how to protect your property and your children by calling us. Contact our Mississippi divorce attorneys here, or give us a call.

Author Photo

Noel Harris

W. Noel Harris, founder of Harris Law Firm, PLLC, is a distinguished personal injury attorney with a Juris Doctor from the University of Mississippi School of Law. Since 1981, he has been a dedicated member of the Plaintiff’s bar, specializing in personal injury, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and products liability. Known for his profound legal knowledge and tenacious client representation, Noel has over three decades of experience, yielding numerous million and multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. His commitment to justice is reflected in his memberships in prestigious legal associations, including the Mississippi and Arkansas Bars, Mississippi Association for Justice, American Association for Justice, and the National Trial Lawyers Association. Recognized as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer and holding an AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, Noel’s expertise and ethical standards set him apart as a leading advocate for accident victims in Greenville, MS. Read

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