You Must Dot Your I’s and Cross Your T’s, Even if the Judge Agrees

One of the hardest concepts for people to understand is that Mississippi does not allow "no-fault divorce." "No-fault" means that a person can force a divorce without having what are known as traditional "grounds for divorce" such as adultery, cruelty, drunkenness, desertion etc. Mississippi does allow divorce where there are no traditional grounds, but only if both parties agree. This process is governed by Section 93-5-2 of the Mississippi Code. Attorneys and clients alike need to be acutely aware of the specific language of this statute when proceeding to divorce on this basis because the Courts have clearly held that "strict compliance with the statute is required." Perkins v. Perkins, 787 So. 2d 1256 (Miss 2001).

This is true even if a judge places his blessing, so to speak, on the process. This was revealed in the recent case of Tyrone v. Tyrone, NO. 2007-CA-01933-COA (Decided Sept. 22, 2009). In that case, the Judge ordered that he would grant a divorce on Irreconcilable Differences. The parties entered into an agreement as to the property and an order was entered. However, the statute was not complied with in several respects, so the Court of Appeals reversed the divorce and rendered the parties married, some 2 ½ years later.
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