What are the Two Types of Divorce in Mississippi?

There are two types of divorce in Mississippi: Irreconcilable Differences divorce (sometimes called “ID divorce”) and Contested or Fault-Based divorce. The type of divorce you choose depends on whether or not you and your spouse can agree to a divorce. If you and your spouse cannot agree to a divorce, one spouse must prove the other is guilty of marital fault such as adultery, untreated addiction, or domestic violence. 

 Irreconcilable Differences Divorce 

 Irreconcilable differences (ID) divorce is also sometimes called uncontested divorce. This type of divorce is used where both spouses agree that they want to get a divorce. If one spouse does not want a divorce and will 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. Sometimes, a couple will agree that they both want to get a divorce, but cannot agree on certain terms like child custody or how to divide the marital property. 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. Even if a divorce starts out as an ID divorce, it may end with one party proving a fault ground against the other. 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 can be used in situations where one spouse wants to get a divorce, and the other does not. In order to get divorced, the spouse will have to prove that their husband or wife is to blame for the breakdown of the marriage. 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 have an adulterous nature or infatuation with another person, coupled with an opportunity to act) 

      3. Incarceration in any penitentiary for a period of a year or more 

      4. Desertion (must be willful, continued, and obstinate desertion for more than a year, or even a refusal to have sex for a period of one 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 which was unknown 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, a spouse can sue for divorce based on adultery, desertion, and bigamy, as well as a claim for ID divorce.  

 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 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.  



Contact Information