Divorce is a difficult and emotional process, and when one spouse is incarcerated, it can add an additional layer of complexity to an already challenging situation. In Mississippi, divorce based on incarceration is a possibility, but it requires specific procedures and considerations.
How It Works
In Mississippi, a spouse may file for a divorce based on one or more fault grounds. These fault grounds include things like habitual cruel and inhuman treatment, adultery, habitual drunkenness, or willful desertion for at least one year. In addition to these grounds, a spouse may also file for divorce if their partner has been sentenced to prison for a crime, and they were not pardoned before they were incarcerated.
If a spouse wishes to file for divorce based on incarceration, they must provide the court with a certified copy of their spouse’s sentencing order. The filing spouse must also provide notice to the incarcerated spouse of the divorce proceedings, either by personal service or by publication in a local newspaper.
Why Might Someone Pursue Divorce Based on Incarceration?
There are several reasons why someone might pursue a divorce based on incarceration in Mississippi. One common reason is that the incarcerated spouse may not be able to fulfill their marital obligations, such as providing emotional or financial support. If the spouse who is not incarcerated is struggling to make ends meet or care for their children, they may choose to file for divorce to protect themselves and their family.
Another reason is that the incarcerated spouse may have committed a serious crime, such as domestic violence, that has put their spouse and children in danger. In such cases, filing for divorce can be a necessary step to protect the family and ensure their safety.
Additionally, some couples may simply grow apart during the period of incarceration. The incarcerated spouse may change as a result of their experiences in prison, and the non-incarcerated spouse may find it difficult to maintain the relationship. In these cases, divorce may be the best option to allow both parties to move on and rebuild their lives.
Special Considerations for This Type of Divorce
One of the main considerations in a divorce based on incarceration is the division of property and assets. Mississippi is an equitable distribution state, which means that property and assets are divided fairly, but not necessarily equally. In cases where one spouse is incarcerated, the court may take into account any financial support that the incarcerated spouse may be entitled to, such as social security benefits or pension payments, when dividing property and assets.
Another consideration is child custody and visitation. The court will consider the best interests of the child when determining custody and visitation arrangements. If the incarcerated parent is deemed to be a danger to the child, they may not be granted custody or visitation rights. However, the court may consider alternatives such as supervised visitation or video conferencing.
Divorce based on incarceration can be a complicated process, but with the help of an experienced attorney, it is possible to navigate the proceedings and reach a fair resolution. It is important for spouses to remember that incarceration does not necessarily mean the end of their relationship with their children, and alternative arrangements for visitation and communication should be explored when possible.
Consult With a Divorce Attorney
If you are considering divorce based on incarceration, it is important to consult with a lawyer who is knowledgeable about both divorce and criminal matters. If you have been searching the Mississippi area for a qualified, experienced divorce attorney who also handles criminal matters, look no further than Vic Carmody Jr., P.A. Our firm can handle your case with a balance of compassion and confidence to guide you through one of the most difficult times a person can go through. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case and learn about your options.
Please also see us on mississippi-lawyers.com and view our reviews on avvo.com, superlawyers.com, and martindale.com. Our email address is mississippi-lawyers.com and our office phone number is (601) 948-4444 option 1.