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How can military families get divorced in Mississippi?

On Behalf of | May 24, 2024 | Family Law

The divorce process is a challenging journey, and when military members are involved, it becomes even more complex. In Mississippi, military divorce has its own set of rules and considerations that couples need to be aware of, but most importantly, military service does not bar divorce.

Jurisdiction and grounds for divorce

Establishing jurisdiction is the first step in any divorce process. In Mississippi, the court has jurisdiction if one spouse resides in the state or if one spouse is stationed here. Grounds for divorce follow Mississippi law.

Division of assets

Mississippi adheres to the principle of “equitable distribution” when dividing marital property. This means assets acquired during the marriage are divided in a manner the court deems fair. This could result in a 50/50 split, but it could also result in some other allocation between the departing spouses.

Military pensions and retirement benefits

A significant difference arises concerning military pensions and retirement benefits. The non-military spouse is not entitled to the military member’s pension unless the marriage lasted at least 10 years. This rule, governed by federal law, is an exception to Mississippi’s property division rules.

Child and spousal support

Child and spousal support payments are determined by Mississippi law. However, they cannot exceed 60% of the military spouse’s pay and allowances. This ensures the military spouse retains a portion of their income that theoretically is enough to live on.

Child custody considerations

Like their non-military counterparts, military divorces prioritize the best interests of the child when making child custody determinations. If the military spouse is stationed overseas or in another state, the court considers their schedule and the child’s need for stability.


Military divorces in Mississippi entail unique considerations, and understanding these nuances is crucial for military families undergoing or contemplating this process. This summary emphasizes the key aspects of military divorce in Mississippi, ranging from jurisdiction and asset division to child custody and support. By understanding these intricacies, couples can navigate this challenging process more effectively.