Divorce in Mississippi FAQ
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Divorce Lawyer, Mississippi FAQ
Below are some FAQs concerning divorce in Mississippi. Please note that none of this information is intended to be used as legal advice. If you are in Mississippi and you are getting divorced and need legal advice, you should hire a divorce lawyer in Mississippi. You must sign a retainer agreement with your divorce lawyer and establish an attorney client relationship. These FAQs are meant for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice whether explicitly or implicitly.
1.     How much does it cost to get divorced in Mississippi?
On average, compared to other states, it is not that expensive to get divorced in Mississippi. Check this page for the filing fees for court for example, compiled in alphabetical order by state. As far as the total price it depends of course if you have an uncontested divorce or a contested divorce and exactly what is going on in your personal case. Note that you also have to pay for service of process fees and also a fee for the summons so factor an additional $35 – $40 dollars
2.  How long does the divorce process take in Mississippi?
After you file your papers, you have to wait at least 60 days before your divorce can be finalized.
3. Is Mississippi a community property state?
No. It is an equitable distribution state. That means that the court decides property distribution on the basis of what it deems “fair.” It does not award 50/50 split unless that is intrinsically and extrinsically a fair solution based on the facts of your case.
4. What are the grounds or basis for divorce in Mississippi?
It is a no fault state and the grounds are irreconcilable differences. You can also get a divorce on the grounds of bigamy, impotence, adultery, abandonment, pregnancy by another other than the spouse, cruel and inhumane treatment, insanity, habitual drug use, and idiocy.
5. How does the court decide who gets custody?
In Mississippi, the court decides custody based on the Albright v Albright case, a 1983 case that shifted the whole way custody was determined in the State. Before, there was a presumption that the mother would get custody unless she is unfit. Now, the court takes several things into consideration such as the age of the parents, the children’s preference (if over 12), which parent has a deeper bond with the children, the educational needs of the child, etc. It is important to discuss these things with an attorney in Mississippi.
6. What about property I brought to the marriage? Will the court count this towards the property settlement?
Typically, no. Anything you bring to the marriage is your separate property unless of course you either commingled it with marital property or in appreciated in value during the marriage in which case it will be treated as marital property.
7. Can I get my name changed when I divorced?
Yes, just request it in the divorce pleading. Note that your name can only be reverted to one it was before you changed it after getting married. You can’t get a totally new name. For that you need a different legal procedure.
8. How are debts incurred during the marriage treated?
Normally you will both be responsible for marital debts equally, unless there is some type of agreement or some special circumstance that would allow the court to do an imbalanced allocation of debts. But for example, the IRS tax debt is jointly and severally owed if you filed a joint tax return. Also, you are both responsible for the mortgage on the marital residence even if your name is not on the mortgage statement or on the deed.
9. If my spouse committed adultery will the court factor this into how much alimony or maintenance it awards to me?
Yes, it could affect your alimony.  Mississippi courts take many factors into consideration when deciding on alimony awards.
10. Can I relocate with the children?
That is going to depend on a lot of issues. The court will consider the child’s best interest as well as the right of the other parent to have an ongoing and regular relationship with his or her child(ren). How far will you move is going to be a question as well. There is no one size fits all answer with this question.