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SEPARATE MAINTENANCE IS AN OPTION FOR SUPPORT WHERE THERE ARE NOT GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE

There is a little known action in Mississippi called, "separate maintenance." Separate maintenance is an action created by the courts to award financial support to a wife if the husband leaves the marriage or forces the wife to leave. It is a command to the husband to either return to the marriage, or support his wife if he refuses. Mississippi divorce laws make it difficult to divorce on the ground of habitual cruel and inhuman treatment. The standard is that the conduct must be a danger to life, limb or health or so revolting as to make the marriage relation impossible. The lesson here is that parties who are seeking a divorce on some fault ground, particularly cruelty, should always make the alternative plea for separate maintenance. That way, if the divorce fails, there may be a way to still obtain monthly support.