Divorce in Mississippi

How To Get A Mississippi Divorce

Mississippi State Outline

Divorce in Mississippi: No matter which state it is filed in, a divorce is often an emotionally draining process.

Once either a single individual or couple makes the decision to file a Mississippi divorce certain steps have to be taken in order for the divorce to finalize.

An attorney can make the Mississippi divorce process much easier and flow smoothly, but an attorney is not mandatory.

Before filling out any official paperwork to be filed with the court, the first step is to write down all property, assets, financial accounts, debts, and any other issues that may come up in a divorce case.

How to Get a Mississippi Divorce

Writing down this information in the beginning will make the divorce proceedings much faster and cheaper to accomplish.

Next, try to resolve any issues surrounding any children affected by the divorce.

The goal for anyone seeking a divorce in Mississippi is to attempt to complete the process uncontested.

Steps to Filing a Mississippi Divorce

  1. The first step in filing for a divorce in Mississippi is to file a Complaint for Divorce with the chancery court in the county where either spouse resides, where both spouses lived at the time of separation, where the filer lives if the spouse is in another state, or where the spouses last lived together prior to separating.

    Along with the complaint, a financial disclosure must be submitted along with a Marital Separation Agreement, if one exists.

    Once the complaint is filed, there is a 60- day waiting period before the judge will rule on the paperwork.

    Upon review of these documents or a preliminary court date, a Mississippi judge may order both parties to go through mediation if there is no agreement.

  2. Both parties in a divorce in Mississippi can submit a joint complaint form if both of them agree on the terms of the divorce.

    However, when it is only one spouse filing the complaint, the other spouse must be notified with a copy of the divorce papers.

    The sheriff, constable, or other authorized process server can accomplish this process.

    • The spouse receiving the divorce papers can choose to answer by either filing a statement saying they do not contest anything in the original papers or not answer the papers they were served.

    • In the event that it is not known where the spouse is located, a good faith effort has to be made to locate the spouse by any official means of notification.

  3. If the spouse files an agreement or files with the complainant in the form of a joint complaint, the divorce is considered an agreed or uncontested divorce and a final hearing would be minimal.

    If the spouse does not respond to the papers at all, then the divorce is considered default and likely, the plaintiff that filed the complaint will be awarded what is currently in the papers.

  4. The final step in the divorce in Mississippi process is for the hearing to take place and the judge to rule on the divorce making the separation final.

    For a divorce in Mississippi, the judge then grants the divorce and approves the terms in the Separation Agreement, then finalize a Final Judgment/Decree of Divorce. After this judgment has been entered into court records, both parties are considered divorced.

These four steps are not all inclusive to every divorce as all divorces are unique and involve many different issues. If children are involved then all custody issues, visitation, and child support must be agreed on.

Equitable Distribution in Mississippi

Mississippi is an “equitable distribution” state, which means that all marital property is subject to division as determined by the court or by both parties in an uncontested case.

The only difference between a divorce in Mississippi and other equitable distribution states is that Mississippi allows title holders to keep anything that their name is the only name on the title.

If a contested divorce happens, then a complaint is filed and the spouse files a response contesting the original paperwork. Once this happens, a trial is set that both spouses must appear.

During the trial, a judge will decide whether the divorce will be granted, issues surrounding child support, visitation, custody, financial matters, alimony, division of property, and debts.

The overall goal of the court in the splitting of assets and money is to maintain the lifestyle of both parties involved in the divorce, and especially maintain a happy and healthy lifestyle for any children involved. Mississippi code does not spell out how a judge will split assets, so it is up to the court to decide.

Mississippi Divorce With Children

In any divorce case, one of the biggest concerns involves children. In a Mississippi divorce case involving children the court will consider the best interest and welfare of the child first, whether either party is at fault for something, the character and conduct of each parent, the age and sex of the children, and economic conditions of the children.

If the children are old enough to answer which parent they prefer to live with, then those considerations along with where the children currently live and go to school are strongly considered.

As you can see from all of the above information, it is in everyone’s best interest if a divorce in Mississippi is uncontested and all issues are worked out prior to filing the Complaint for Divorce.

The advantage of filing everything in an expedient manner is a faster, cheaper, and less emotional divorce process.

Need Assistance?
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See These Related Mississippi Divorce Pages:

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Mississippi Divorce Laws

Mississippi Divorce Forms

Mississippi Divorce Records

Mississippi Divorce Resources

Mississippi Uncontested Divorce

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