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Mississippi could add “irrevocable breakdown” to divorce laws

On Behalf of | Mar 29, 2022 | Divorce

In most states across the nation, people who want to end their marriage and get a divorce have the option of simply saying the marriage is “irrevocably broken.” This avoids the requirement that there be a specific reason for the divorce and smooths the process. Mississippi, however, is different. People currently cannot claim their marriage is irrevocably broken as a justification for divorce. This makes the state – along with South Dakota – a holdout in this vein. However, a recently proposed bill could change that and people who are considering divorce should be cognizant of its progress. Until it becomes law, it is also wise for those thinking about divorce to understand the current laws and their impact on a potential case.

Senate Bill 2643 could change existing divorce laws

The proposed law – Senate Bill 2643 – has already passed overwhelmingly in the state Senate. The goal is to avoid the extended disputes and challenges that arise when a person is trying to get divorce. Problems often arise if one spouse wants the divorce and the other does not. This is believed to complicate matters and make a difficult situation worse than it needs to be. In addition, it adds to the cost by taking longer. These requirements have not resulted in Mississippi marriages showing greater durability than those in other states. In fact, Mississippi is frequently near the top in divorce statistics.

As of now, Mississippi has 12 grounds for divorce and one must be in effect for the marriage to end. They are adultery; habitual cruel and inhumane treatment; willful desertion; a spouse being convicted of a crime and incarcerated; habitual drunkenness; habitual illicit drug use; a mental disability the other spouse was unaware of prior to the marriage; incurable mental illness; the wife becoming pregnant with another man’s child; incest; impotency; and bigamy.

Having help with Mississippi’s unusual divorce laws can be imperative

Although there is progress toward changing the state’s complex divorce laws and making it easier for people to move on, “irrevocable breakdown” has not yet been added as an alternative. Those thinking about a divorce should keep track of its progress while simultaneously being prepared to bring a case without this option. Since divorce has so many facets including child custody, spousal maintenance, child support, property division and more, it is important to have assistance from the start. Discussing the case with those experienced in Mississippi’s somewhat unusual divorce laws can be helpful.