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What is a fault-based divorce?

| Jun 15, 2021 | Divorce

Getting a divorce is rarely an easy process to start, but there are some unique laws regarding how you can start one in Mississippi. Most states are “no-fault divorce” states, meaning that starting a divorce does not require a spouse to prove their partner was at fault for anything in the marriage. Mississippi, on the other hand, does things differently than most states.

There is already so much to know about divorces, but what should you know about fault-based divorces? If you live in Mississippi, you may quickly learn that their unique divorce laws may become your advantage.

How a fault-based divorce works

Other states often require spouses to live apart for a year or longer to begin the divorce process. In order to divorce in Mississippi, either both spouses must agree to a divorce, or one spouse needs to prove fault in their partner in the following ways:

  • Excessive drug use
  • Natural impotence
  • Imprisonment
  • Desertion
  • Adultery
  • Regular drunkenness
  • Polygamy
  • Cruelty
  • Mental illness

It may seem like an unnecessary hurdle to prove fault in a marriage, but doing so can benefit you greatly. Being able to prove fault can lead to a court granting more assets in property division and more considerable child support or alimony to the non-faulty spouse. If both spouses are at fault for something, the party that the court considers the least at fault will often get the more favorable outcome.

How can I prove fault?

Proving fault often requires physical evidence of the alleged fault. Because it is not enough to claim there is a fault, you will likely need proof of something, such as police reports showing drug use or domestic violence charges, photographic evidence of abuse, screenshots of adulterous conversations, or pictures of adultery.

Proving fault may not be as easy as you think, but you do not have to try to do it on your own. Contact an experienced family law attorney for the guidance you need to prove fault and secure the best possible outcome in your divorce.