Harris Law PLLC: Divorce Lawyers in Mississippi
Divorce is an emotional experience for most couples, but it doesn’t have to be too legally complex.
Under Mississippi law, couples can divorce for a variety of reasons. Most of the legwork of a divorce will involve deciding key issues involving marital assets and your children.
If you see divorce on the horizon, don’t try to tackle it alone. The right Mississippi divorce attorney can streamline a divorce and protect your rights at the same time. Contact Harris Law to speak with our divorce lawyers in Mississippi.
Grounds for Divorce
Mississippi helpfully allows couples to choose a “no fault” option for divorce. Essentially, this means there are “irreconcilable differences” such that the marriage cannot be saved.
The state also allows for fault-based grounds, such as:
- Alcoholism or drug abuse
- Desertion for at least one year
- Cruel and inhuman treatment
- Lack of capacity
- Pregnancy by another man without husband’s knowledge
Uncontested versus Contested Divorce
A divorce does more than simply end a legal relationship. A court also needs to unwind a couple’s financial relationship and determine custody of minor children.
In an uncontested divorce, a couple reaches an agreement on all key issues. They then present their agreement to the judge to sign off on. When a divorce is “contested,” it means the couple cannot agree on one or more of the following:
- Child custody
- Child support
- Division of marital property and debts
- Spousal support (alimony)
An uncontested divorce is faster and often less expensive; however, it is not always possible for couples to reach an agreement on the above issues, so sometimes there is no choice but to have a contested divorce.
If parents can’t come up with a custody arrangement, a judge will decide custody by considering the best interests of the child. This analysis looks at several factors, such as each parent’s relationship with the child and any allegations of abuse.
Parents can have joint custody, or the child will spend more time with one parent than with the other. If you anticipate a child custody fight, contact a divorce lawyer in Mississippi.
Mississippi like other states has created support guidelines based on each parent’s income and the amount of time they will have the child. The guidelines also look at the number of children to be supported. If a child has extraordinary needs, such as medical care for a disability, a judge can award more child support.
Division of Marital Property
Mississippi is an equitable division state. When spouses can’t agree on how to divide debts and property, a judge will do so based on what is fair. Fair does not necessarily mean 50/50 (but could mean that). A judge will look at many factors, such as each spouse’s contribution and the needs of each spouse.
Either spouse can seek support, which might last for a short amount of time or indefinitely. Spouses do not have a right to support in the same manner children are entitled to child support, but a judge will award spousal support if he or she thinks it is fair.