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Legislature Changing Divorce Law, or Meaningless Gesture?

House Bill 185 seeks to amend Mississippi’s divorce statute to add language that says that a divorce on habitual cruel and inhuman treatment may be granted where there is “excessive verbal, mental, psychological or emotional abuse.” Many laymen might be excited to think the Legislature is moving to make divorce easier in Mississippi for those trapped by our “fault grounds” statute in bad marriages.

The truth of the matter is that the 1892 Legislature eliminated the physical cruelty restriction and the Supreme Court recognized emotional cruelty alone in 1915! So what is this House Bill all about? Anyone interested in a relaxed divorce standard should lobby for more language than this bill has.