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Divorce - General, Laws and Process
One of the biggest lessons I have learned in over ten years of practicing divorce law is that I do not want to be divorced. Divorce will make you sad, lonely, poor, anxious, and it will rob you of the finite time that your children will be children. Few things in this life are as wasteful as divorce. Divorces are extreme misuses of energy and resources.
Normally, the parent who is awarded the physical custody of the children is also awarded the right to claim the children as dependents for income tax purposes because that parent usually has the children with him or her more than 50% of the time and provides more than 50% of the children’s economic and non-economic support.
Who is legally authorized to solemnize a marriage in Mississippi? Assuming the parties have obtained a valid marriage license, the following officials may solemnize the marriage...
You have the option to sue your spouse for a divorce on a "fault ground" which you will be required to prove in court.
Mississippi law allows a divorce on grounds of irreconcilable difference which is sometimes called "no fault."
There are two basic ways to obtain a divorce in Mississippi. The first way is by agreement of the parties. This type of divorce is based upon "irreconcilable differences" between the parties and is often popularly referred to as a "No-Fault" divorce. The second way to divorce is by force. In other words, one party has grounds for a divorce to be awarded to them by the court whether or not the other party agrees.
There are basically three ways that you can get a divorce in Mississippi. You and your spouse can agree that you want to be divorced and agree to all aspects of your property division and all the intricate details dealing with your continued care for your children post divorce.
Prenuptial agreements are documents signed before marriage that set out the terms of dissolution of a marriage as a result of death or divorce. If you signed one of these, it is important for me to know. We may want to defend the terms of the agreement or we may want to see if there is any way to overcome the terms of the agreement for a number of technical reasons.
There are tactical advantages for the person who files for divorce first. The legal document that starts the proceeding is the Complaint for Divorce. It covers technical matters and asks the court for anything to which you may be entitled.
A temporary hearing is usually the first formal event that takes place after a contested divorce Complaint is filed and served. A person can have a temporary hearing in divorce, child custody, separate maintenance and in certain other family law actions by serving their spouse with a special summons along with the Complaint and prayer for temporary relief, which requires him or her to be in court at a specific time on a specific day.
Discovery is the official process of gaining information in a lawsuit. There are a number of forms of discovery, including depositions, interrogatories, request for admissions, request for production of documents, request for inspection of land, requests for mental or physical examinations, and subpoenas.
Failure to comply with a court order can subject you to contempt of court. If you are found to be in willful contempt of court you could go to jail.
Sometimes it is a good idea to get life insurance after a divorce or in contemplation of a divorce if you do not already have it. Life insurance can be used to secure the payment of a financial obligation imposed upon your former spouse, or it may be used to insure that your children are provided for in the event of your death.
Burdened by high interest payments, many divorcees turn to the bankruptcy courts to alleviate the strain of their debts. I put standard language in my divorce agreements that is calculated to protect you in the event that your spouse files bankruptcy, but I do not specifically handle these types of cases, and federal law trumps state law and your divorce decree in matters of bankruptcy.
Once you have decided that divorce is inevitable, depending on your old will’s provisions, you may need to destroy it. It is established law that a person cannot disinherit his or her spouse completely, so a new will while you are separated but still married may be something to consider.
Medical insurance coverage is extremely expensive but almost mandatory in our society of outrageous medical costs. If your spouse or children are covered by your insurance, keep them insured until such time as I tell you that you may drop them from coverage.
There are certain aspects to a divorce that are always modifiable. They are permanent periodic alimony, child custody, visitation and child support. For the most part, there must have been a material change in circumstances since the entry of the last Order, usually the Final Judgment, unless there have been other modification actions that were not contemplated at the time of the last Order.
If you can work out a satisfactory settlement with your spouse you will have a victory. Even if you win at trial, there is a significant cost in money and emotion.
Sometimes referred to as "no fault", this method is usually the least expensive and least stressful.
In order to file for divorce in Mississippi, a party must give grounds for divorce and prove them with evidence or testimony. Mississippi recognizes the following grounds for divorce: irreconcilable differences (which is no-fault) and other grounds that include impotence, adultery, incarceration, felony conviction, drug or alcohol abuse, insanity for at least a three-year period, the wifes pregnancy by someone else without the husband being aware, willful desertion for at least one year, cruel and inhuman treatment, incest, and one spouse lacking the mental capability to consent to terminate a marriage.
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"A Plain English Guide to Protecting Your Children"
Author: Mary L. Boland, Attorney at Law
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