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Mississippi Legal Separation
Legal Separation in Mississippi
Mississippi does not recognize legal separation, so spouses who no longer wish to live together must file either divorce or Separate Maintenance.
In Separate Maintenance, the court determines child custody, insurance, debts and the use of the home and vehicles. The court may order what is called a Separate Maintenance Entitlement, which is financial support to the spouse left behind, prior to a divorce. In order for the person to receive it, he or she cannot be the cause of the marital failure. Separate Maintenance Entitlement is designed to favor reconciliation.
Proceedings resolve issues related to marital finances and the children. The independent separate maintenance case resolves issues associated with the marriage. However, neither an independent separate maintenance action nor temporary orders terminate the marriage itself.
At the discretion of the court, temporary alimony payments may also be a factor in separation entitlement.
Mississippi does not require any type of legally sanctioned separation before divorce proceedings are initiated or concluded.
An order of temporary relief that addresses various marital issues remains in force only until a final divorce decree is entered. A separate maintenance order remains in effect indefinitely, but terminates if the parties cohabit or terminates upon application of the parties to the court for a dismissal.
A separation agreement is a legal binding contract signed by spouses, which is intended to resolve property, debt and child related issues. This can be a very complex and detailed document depending upon the unique situation of the marriage. Many spouses consult an attorney to provide this or they decide to prepare their own.
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