The decision to get divorced is never an easy one to make. You have probably gone through considerable stress to arrive at this choice, and you likely want to find the easiest, quickest way to end your marriage that you possibly can. Fortunately, getting divorced in Mississippi can be relatively straightforward, particularly if you and your spouse are in agreement on issues like property division and child custody and support (if you have children). You may even qualify to complete your divorce without a lawyer. If this is the case, starting the process can be as simple as filling out the correct Mississippi divorce papers and submitting them to your county clerk.
Completing the required divorce papers for Mississippi online with CompleteCase.com can make the process even simpler. Our form preparation service helps you to acquire the divorce papers you’ll need for your situation, and ensures that they’re completed accurately.
If you and your spouse are not in agreement on important issues like property division, you may consider the path of divorce mediation. If you’re in a more involved or challenging situation it may be advisable to seek the assistance of a divorce attorney.
We’ve compiled the following information to help you learn more about divorce in Mississippi, and how you can start moving forward with your own divorce.
According to data reported by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in 2011 the divorce rate in Mississippi was 4 for every 1,000 residents. This divorce rate puts Mississippi near the middle of all rates reported in the United States.
Mississippi allows both fault-based and no-fault divorces. In a fault-based divorce, you must prove that one party was responsible for the divorce citing “grounds” accepted by the state. These grounds for divorce, include adultery, desertion, cruelty and imprisonment. In a no-fault divorce you only need to state that there are “irreconcilable differences”. Mississippi requires that either you or your spouse lives in the state for at least 6 months before you are can file for divorce. You can file divorce in either the county that you or your spouse resides. The only exception to the residency requirement is if your spouse does not live in the state and you are seeking a fault-based divorce, in which case you must file where you reside.
The specific Mississippi divorce papers you complete will vary on your situation – like whether you have children with yours spouse – and sometimes the county where you plan to file. Some forms that are standard in divorce are the “Divorce Complaint” and the “Summons”. You will want to determine what court you plan to file in and contact the county clerk to inquire about the forms you need to complete.
The divorce process and the paperwork required by Mississippi can be confusing, especially if you don’t have legal training or haven’t been through the process before. Unfortunately, Mississippi does not make it particularly easy to find its divorce papers online. For this reason, many people choose to get their divorce papers online from CompleteCase.com. Our online service not only provides you with the appropriate Mississippi divorce forms, we ensure that complete the forms correctly the first time. Submitting incorrect or incomplete forms can add time and unnecessary costs to your divorce.
When completing your documents, avoid signing any affidavits or statements until you are in the presence of a notary public. The court will only accept notarized documents. Many county courts have a notary available on site, but be sure to call and confirm before you go to submit your forms.
After you’ve completed the required divorce papers for Mississippi, you will want to make at least two copies. One copy to keep for your records and the other to serve to your spouse. You should contact the county clerk before you go to the courthouse to verify that you are bringing all the documentation needed and a form of payment accepted by the court. If you are unable to pay the state filing fee, you can request a waiver. If the court approves the waiver request, you will not have to pay the fee. Once you submit your paperwork and the state filing fee is considered paid, the clerk will stamp and file your documents.
To complete the filing process, you will need to serve your spouse with the divorce papers. Serving your spouse allows him or her to respond to the divorce complaint, and is a required part of filing for divorce in every state.
You have a number of different options when it comes to serving your spouse. If you and your spouse are on good terms, you can bring the papers to him or her and get a signed acknowledgment that the papers were received. If your spouse has a lawyer, you will want to serve the papers to the lawyer. If you and your spouse are not on good terms, or you just do not want to personally serve the papers, you can hire someone to do it. Your first option for hiring a server is the local sheriff's department. The sheriff will charge a fee, and will inform the court that the spouse was served. You can also hire a private process server, who will also charge a fee – usually more than the sheriff. However, the private server will usually make several attempts to serve the divorce papers, where a sheriff usually only makes one attempt. You can also ask someone that you know, who is over 18, to serve the divorce paperwork. He or she cannot be involved in the divorce, however. The final service option, if you cannot locate your spouse, is to publish a notice in the newspaper. This can be costly, and is only allowed if you have searched thoroughly for your spouse.
If you and your spouse are in agreement on all terms of the divorce, the court will finalize the divorce fairly quickly. If you are not in agreement,and have to argue a case in front of the court, you can expect it to take much longer.