In Mississippi, what are the grounds for divorce?

Deciding to end your marriage may be a difficult decision to for you make, and you probably have thought carefully about your reasons for making that decision. However, when you file for divorce, you will be asked to supply a legally valid reason, called a ground, for divorce.

Mississippi recognizes 12 fault-based grounds for divorce and one no-fault ground for divorce. It is important to choose your ground carefully because it can affect the outcome of your divorce.

Fault-based grounds

If you choose a fault-based ground, it means you are blaming the fault of the divorce on your spouse. You must be able to prove any fault-based ground that you list, and if your spouse effectively defends against your ground, the divorce may not be granted. However, if you effectively prove your fault-based ground, it could put you in a more favorable position for child custody or alimony.

The 12 fault-based grounds, include:

  • Impotency
  • Adultery
  • Being sentenced to prison
  • Willful desertion for at least a year
  • Habitual drunkenness
  • Habitual drug use
  • Habitual cruel treatment
  • Mental illness or intellectual disability at the time of marriage
  • Marriage to someone else at the time of the pretended marriage
  • The wife being pregnant by another person at the time of the marriage
  • Spouses are too closely related
  • Incurable mental illness

No-fault ground

You could also get a no-fault divorce on the ground of irreconcilable differences. However, you and your spouse typically must agree to the divorce and to settlement over child custody, child support, alimony and property division. If you use a no-fault ground, you and your spouse are also subject to a 60-day waiting period.

If you think ending your marriage may be the right decision for your situation, it can be valuable to consider what ground is most appropriate. You can seek legal advice if you are unsure which ground to use, but ultimately, the ground you choose is up to you.

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