If you are getting a divorce in Mississippi and do not know where to start or what requirements you need to meet, this article is especially for you. Let’s find out what everyone who divorces in Mississippi needs to know.
General Info About Divorce in Mississippi
All divorces in Mississippi can be divided into two types — fault-based divorce and no-fault divorce. To understand the specific features of your divorce process, you must define the type.
These two divorces are fundamentally different. Their main contrast lies in the name. In the first case, you inform the court that your spouse is to blame for the divorce. The second type assumes that you are parting peacefully, without accusations, and with a clear plan for the property division, child custody, etc.
Of course, it is always preferable to have a no-fault divorce, as it has several advantages. Firstly, such a divorce is fast, easy, and more affordable. Furthermore, it is a precursor for having an uncontested divorce. In this case, the spouses sign a Settlement Agreement in advance, which will prescribe all issues related to property and children. Also, this Agreement sets out the amount of alimony and spousal support, if required.
Secondly, since a no-fault divorce does not require settling disputes in court, you can employ an online divorce platform to prepare the paperwork instead of paying for the services of an expensive lawyer. The web divorce site helps you collect and complete the necessary documents for a reasonable fee, customized specifically for your situation. It is inexpensive and quick, and the service provides a 100% guarantee of court approval.
Grounds for Divorce
In a fault-based divorce, you must prove one of the following statements:
- Your spouse is impotent (you need a corresponding declaration from a specialized doctor);
- Your spouse is regularly drunk;
- Your spouse has cheated or cheats on you regularly;
- Your spouse uses opium, morphine, or other similar drugs excessively and regularly;
- Your spouse is abusing you (domestic violence);
- Your spouse left you for one year or more and left your typical home;
- Your spouse had a mental illness during your marriage, and you were unaware of it;
- Your spouse was already married to someone at the time of your marriage;
- Your spouse was pregnant by someone else during your marriage to you, and you did not know about it;
- Your spouse is your relative;
- Your spouse has an incurable mental illness (they must receive regular medical treatment and be in a mental institution for at least three years before filing for divorce);
- Your spouse is sentenced to any state penitentiary (jail or prison) without pardon.
No-fault reasons for divorce in Mississippi include:
- Irreconcilable differences.
Irreconcilable differences means that you and your spouse no longer get along, and neither spouse is to blame.
Regardless of which type of divorce you choose for your case, you and your spouse must meet the residency requirements.
Mississippi law says you can file for divorce if you or your spouse resides in Mississippi (including being in the state as a soldier) for a minimum of six months before filing. Moreover, you and your spouse cannot become residents for the sole purpose of divorce.
Step-by-Step Guide of the Divorce in Mississippi
Once you have met all the requirements of Mississippi law, have decided on the type of divorce (and in the case of fault-based divorce, have identified the grounds for divorce), you can begin your divorce proceedings.
Step 1: Fill Out All Divorce Forms
The whole process begins, of course, with filling out and submitting documents. Take all the necessary completed forms to the court of jurisdiction where you or your spouse live. Also, if you are filing for divorce yourself (without an attorney), you will need to pay a registration fee.
Step 2: Pay Filing Fees
The amount of the registration fee differs from state to state. For example, in Mississippi, you will need to pay $148 for an uncontested divorce and $158 for a contested one.
Step 3: Serve Paperwork to the Spouse
Further, you must inform your spouse about the desire to divorce them. To do this, you must serve them the divorce papers. There are several ways to accomplish this action.
Your spouse can agree to accept the service by signing and submitting a confirmation form, which you then submit to the court. You can find this form at the office of the court clerk.
If your spouse is against the divorce and does not agree to accept the service for this or any other reason, you can hire a sheriff. The sheriff must work in the county where your spouse lives. After paying him a certain fee, the sheriff will deliver the documents to your ex-partner;
You can ask anyone over 18 y.o. to serve your spouse. In this case, after delivering, the person who served your spouse must fill out a form, indicating that service was successfully provided.
If your spouse disagrees with anything about the divorce papers, then they have the right to file documents that indicate their views on the matter. The spouse can express their opinion, challenge the divorce, or ask for other grounds in their response. If your ex-partner does not inform the court about their consent to the divorce and disputes it, you may need to appear in court several times to resolve all controversial issues.
If your spouse does not respond after a certain number of days, you can still proceed with the divorce as an uncontested divorce.
Step 4: Visit the Final Hearing and Receive the Divorce Decree
After your spouse has signed all the documents, you provide the court with a form that confirms their signature. Mississippi State has a 60-day waiting period before your uncontested divorce can be finalized. After that, a judge will schedule a hearing to review your Settlement Agreement and other divorce papers. You probably won’t even have to attend the hearing.
Divorce isn’t a scary and energy-consuming process if you know how to file for it in Mississippi step-by-step. Calmness, composure, and professional help from an internet divorce service can help you survive the divorce with minimal losses.