Mississippi requires either mutual agreement to divorce or that one party have what are known as “fault grounds” such as adultery, cruelty, drunkenness, or use of drugs. The requirement for fault puts many people in a position where they cannot get the other party to agree to a divorce and cannot get a divorce because they do not have a “fault ground.” This leaves parties stalemated in unhappy marriages.
One solution is to move to another state where fault grounds are not required and obtain a divorce there. Many people chose states that have short residency requirements and no-fault ground requirements for divorce such as Montana, and Nevada. Southeastern states such as Alabama, Texas, and Florida have relatively short residency requirements and are “no-fault” states. If the state considers the residence legitimate, it can move forward to divorce, but may not be able to decide custody or property issues without what is known as personal jurisdiction.
Once a party divorces in another state, they can return to Mississippi and request a decision on the other parts of the marriage, such as custody and property division. See: Pierce v. Pierce, No. 2012–CA–01966–SCT (2/20/14)