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Temporary Divorce Hearings in Mississippi

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. Although according to court rules you could have a hearing on a prayer for temporary relief within seven (7) days of service of process (when your spouse is handed the contested Complaint by the sheriff or private process server), it usually takes a good bit longer to get a setting with the Judge. Depending on where in Mississippi you live, the access to court may be limited depending on the local rules.

Some chancellors will give the litigants thirty minutes to an hour per side and limit the number of witnesses that can be called; some chancellors will basically refuse to have a temporary hearing and ask the lawyers to present the case to them in summary form; and some chancellors will not limit your access to the Court at all. After testimony is taken and/or after the Judge is satisfied that he or she has heard all they need to hear, a Temporary Order will be entered that will govern until a new order is entered upon the final hearing of the case. There are a few instances that a Chancellor will entertain a request to modify the provisions of a Temporary Order, but these are few and far between. Remember, fifty percent of the married people in your county will probably get a divorce, and there are usually only one or two judges whose job it is to make decisions in these cases, not to mention the many other types of cases that chancellors hear. For this reason and because I will spend more time on your case than the Judge will, I always like to propose a settlement of the temporary issues.


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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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