Mississippi’s Two Types of Divorce

There are two types of divorce in Mississippi: Irreconcilable Differences divorce (sometimes called “ID divorce” or “uncontested divorce”) and Contested or Fault-Based divorce. The type of divorce you choose largely depends on whether or not you and your spouse can agree to a divorce. 

Irreconcilable Differences Divorce

Irreconcilable differences divorce is also sometimes called uncontested divorce. This type of divorce is used where both spouses agree that they want to get a divorce and can agree to all the terms of the divorce. If one spouse does not want a divorce and does not agree to the divorce, ID divorce cannot be used, and the spouse who does want the divorce will have to file for fault-based divorce. What happens if the couple agrees that they both want to get a divorce, but cannot agree on certain terms like child support? In this type of situation, the couple can still file for irreconcilable differences divorce as long as they agree that the court will determine any remaining terms of disagreement. 

Fault Based Divorce

If both spouses cannot agree to an irreconcilable differences divorce, one spouse must file for fault-based divorce. Often, what starts out as an irreconcilable differences divorce based on mutual consent and agreement can quickly turn nasty. Before starting the divorce process, try to have a conversation with your spouse about whether or not they would be willing to consent to a divorce. When that just doesn’t work, one of the parties must have a recognized marital fault against the other spouse. 

Fault based divorce may be used in situations where one spouse wants to get a divorce, and the other does not. Fault based divorce requires that there be a “fault ground” that the divorce claim is based on. Every state has laws that outline what the fault grounds for divorce are in that state. Mississippi has 12 fault grounds for fault-based divorce: 

  1. natural and incurable impotence (one spouse is biologically unable to procreate and the problem existed at the time of the marriage)
  2. adultery (must show an adulterous nature or infatuation with another person, coupled with an opportunity to act)
  3. incarceration in any penitentiary 
  4. desertion (must be willful, continued, and obstinate desertion for more than a year)
  5. habitual use of opium, morphine, or other like drugs
  6. habitual drunkenness
  7. habitual cruel and inhuman treatment (this covers spousal domestic abuse, but can also cover a broad range of other types of cruel treatment)
  8. insanity at the time of marriage
  9. bigamy (marriage to some other person at the time of the marriage between the parties)
  10. pregnancy of wife by another man at the time of marriage (if the husband did not know of the pregnancy)
  11. kinship within the incurable degree (brother, sister, mother, father, first cousins, etc.)
  12. incurable mental illness (one spouse has been under regular treatment for mental illness and confined in an institution for persons with mental illness for a period of at least three years preceding the filing for divorce)

To file for fault-based divorce, the filing party must claim at least one of these fault grounds against the other spouse, but they can also be combined as additional causes for divorce. For example, Wife wants to file for divorce, and she knows that husband will not agree to it. Wife can file for fault-based divorce on the grounds of habitual cruel and inhuman treatment, habitual drunkenness, and adultery. 

How can I start the divorce process?

If you have been searching the Mississippi area for a qualified, experienced divorce attorney, look no further than Mississippi Lawyers. 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.

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