Do your own divorce
Mississippi - Divorce Requirements
The following information is to provide a basic understanding of the various aspects of Mississippi divorce.

Click here for more specific information regarding Mississippi divorce laws.

Every effort has been made to assure that the information contained in these pages is accurate however, due to the ever changing nature of the law some material may be outdated or may no longer apply.

Residency Requirements Must be a bona fide resident within this state for six (6) months next preceding the commencement of the suit. If a member of the armed services of the United States is stationed in the state and residing within the state with his spouse, such person and his spouse shall be considered actual bona fide residents of the state for the purposes of this section, provided they were residing within the state at the time of the separation of the parties.
Where to File A complaint for divorce based solely on the grounds of irreconcilable differences shall be filed in the county of residence of either party where both parties are residents of this state. If one (1) party is not a resident of this state, then the complaint shall be filed in the county where the resident party resides
Grounds for Divorce Divorce from the bonds of matrimony may be granted on the ground of irreconcilable differences, but only upon the joint complaint of the husband and wife or a complaint where the defendant has been personally served with process or where the defendant has entered an appearance by written waiver of process.
Complaints for divorce on the ground of irreconcilable differences must have been on file for sixty (60) days before being heard.
Divorces from the bonds of matrimony may be decreed to the injured party for any one or more of the following twelve causes, viz:
  • Natural impotency
  • Adultery, unless it should appear that it was committed by collusion of the parties for the purpose of procuring a divorce, or unless the parties cohabited after a knowledge by complainant of the adultery.
  • Being sentenced to any penitentiary, and not pardoned before being sent there.
  • Wilful, continued and obstinate desertion for the space of one year.
  • Habitual drunkenness.
  • Habitual and excessive use of opium, morphine or other like drug.
  • Habitual cruel and inhuman treatment.
  • Insanity or idiocy at the time of marriage, if the party complaining did not know of such infirmity.
  • Marriage to some other person at the time of the pretended marriage between the parties.
  • Pregnancy of the wife by another person at the time of the marriage, if the husband did not know of such pregnancy.
  • Either party may have a divorce if they be related to each other within the degrees of kindred between whom marriage is prohibited by law.
  • Incurable insanity.
Voluntary or required mediation No
Voluntary or recommended CounselingNo
Property Distribution There are no statutory provisions in Mississippi for considerations regarding property division. However, Mississippi has judicially adopted the "equitable division" systems of property division.
Child Custody Custody shall be awarded as follows according to the best interests of the child:
  • Physical and legal custody to both parents jointly
  • Physical custody to both parents jointly and legal custody to either parent.
  • Legal custody to both parents jointly and physical custody to either parent
  • Physical and legal custody to either parent.
  • Upon a finding by the court that both of the parents of the child have abandoned or deserted such child or that both such parents are mentally, morally or otherwise unfit to rear and train the child the court may award physical and legal custody to the person in whose home the child has been living in a wholesome and stable environment or physical and legal custody to any other person deemed by the court to be suitable and able to provide adequate and proper care and guidance for the child.
Child Support where proof shows that both parents have separate incomes or estates, the court may require that each parent contribute to the support and maintenance of the children of the marriage in proportion to the relative financial ability of each. In the event a legally responsible parent has health insurance available to him or her through an employer or organization that may extend benefits to the dependents of such parent, any order of support issued against such parent may require him or her to exercise the option of additional coverage in favor of such children as he or she is legally responsible to support.
Spousal Support Either spouse may be awarded maintenance if it is equitable and just. There are no other factors for consideration specified in the statute. Parsons v. Parsons (1996) spelled our a set of factors for consideration:
  • The spouse's income and expenses
  • The spouse's health and earnings
  • The spouse's needs, obligations, and assets
  • The presence of any children
  • The spouse's ages
  • The standard of living during the marriage
  • Any tax consequences
  • Any marital fault
  • Any wasteful dissipation of assets
  • Length of the marriage
  • Any other just and equitable factors.