Helping Families Regain Their Strength

Divorce Attorneys in Jackson, MS

Understanding Divorce Law in Mississippi and How to File

In Mississippi, you have two main divorce options: with grounds or on the basis of irreconcilable differences.

With the first approach, sometimes referred to as a “fault” divorce, you must have grounds to file for divorce against your spouse. Adultery, abandonment, and drunkenness are examples of valid grounds for divorce in Mississippi. One can only force the other party to divorce with proof of fault grounds.

With the second approach, you and your spouse can agree to divorce without the necessity of alleging fault or providing grounds for the divorce. With an irreconcilable differences, or “no-fault” divorce, you and your spouse must be in agreement that you want to divorce.

How Our Jackson Divorce Attorney Can Help

No matter the approach you take in your divorce, Jackson divorce attorney, Mark Chinn is here for you. He has 40 years of legal experience and is committed to using his talent and experience empower his clients to lead the lives they want to live. At Chinn & Associates, we believe that divorce may end a marriage, but it doesn’t have to end a family or ruin your future. We are here to protect your interests.

Learn more by calling (601) 202-5594 or contact us online to speak with an attorney.

Grounds vs. Irreconcilable Differences in a Jackson, MS Divorce

There are advantages and disadvantages to either type of divorce. The approach you take should depend on your unique situation, and our divorce lawyer in Jackson, MS can advise you of the potential impact that divorce with grounds or irreconcilable differences may have on you and your family.

When to Contact a Divorce Lawyer

If your marriage is not going well, the moment that “divorce” comes into the conversation or even crosses your mind, it may be a good time to contact a divorce attorney. Speaking to a divorce attorney does not mean that you must go through with filing for divorce right then, but you would be better informed about your options in case your marriage would get to that point. Consulting with an experienced divorce lawyer in Jackson would help you be prepared and keep you and your children if you have any, protected.

All families are unique and no divorce is “one-size-fits-all”. When discussing your situation with a divorce attorney, you can understand more about the divorce process, what the grounds for divorce are, and what options are available -- if mediation will work or if litigation will need to be involved.

If you have children, you may want to know about custody, child support, and visitation rights -- how any of these work, how they are decided, and if or when plans may be modified. It will also be helpful to have an idea of how your property and debts will be divided during a divorce.

Talking to a Jackson, MS divorce attorney can be empowering. Even if you end up not going through with filing for divorce, at least you will have an understanding of the process and an idea of how it may affect your family -- knowing how everything will work in general might give you peace of mind.

Are you considering divorce? Schedule an appointment with a divorce attorney in Jackson, MS at Chinn & Associates, PC. We have years of experience and are happy to answer any questions. Complete an online form or call (601) 202-5594 when you are ready.

How to File For Divorce in MS

To file an irreconcilable differences divorce, both spouses must not only agree to divorce in the first place but also must agree upon all of the issues to be resolved:

To file a fault-based divorce, one spouse must be able to prove that the other spouse committed one of the following grounds:

  • Adultery
  • Habitual cruel and inhuman treatment
  • Drunkenness
  • Desertions
  • Other grounds, such as drug use

Do You Need a Lawyer to File for Divorce in MS?

While there is no specific law that requires legal representation to file for a divorce, there are many benefits in doing so. Hiring a lawyer with experience is the first step in performing your due diligence. If you are not a legal expert then you may be misinterpreting state laws that are complex.

Here are additional reasons why hiring a lawyer for divorce is beneficial:

  • A lawyer can guide you on the fastest and most efficient path to finalizing your divorce
  • A lawyer can take the burden of court documents and excess paperwork off your plate
  • If your divorcing spouse has hired an attorney, then you will want to as well
  • An attorney with experience can help you achieve goals for both the short and long term

Before filing for divorce alone, call our office today to consult with our attorney. We may be able to provide you with options that you didn't even know excited.

Does It Matter Who Files for Divorce First?

Many clients come to us with a great deal of worry, saying it is imperative that they “file first”, as they think there are disadvantages of filing for divorce first. This is a misplaced worry, but there are things to consider and talk about. There are reasons when one should truly, “file first.”

  1. Asset protection: If a spouse has a concern that the other spouse is about to sell or waste assets, immediate action in court may be necessary. Careful examination of the assets of the marriage is essential in the initial interview to determine what action should be taken and whether court action is necessary.
  2. Personal Protection: Sometimes there is domestic abuse which requires emergency protection from the courts.
  3. Jurisdictional fights: When two or more states might have jurisdiction over a case, the person who files first may have obtained a very important advantage.
  4. Order of proof: Whoever files first gets to go first and last in the proof part of a trial.
  5. Emotional considerations: Sometimes a person just has to strike back at the other party.

Don’t panic about the issue of filing first, but do consult with a lawyer about it.

Why is There a 60-Day Waiting Period For Divorce?

This waiting period applies to irreconcilable difference divorces and assumes that all issues are resolved by you and your spouse during this time. Many states have these waiting periods, and they are usually intended to be a “cool-off” time for you to work things out. This can be very frustrating if you’re nowhere near on the fence about your marriage.

For fault-based divorces, you will probably have to wait this amount of time or longer, even with there being no actual guidelines for a waiting period. This type of divorce is just a more complicated process in general. 

How Long Does it Take to Get a Divorce in Mississippi?

The range in times to fully complete a divorce in MS is huge. The divorce process can take anywhere from a few months to several years. However, you’re much more likely to get it over with within a few months if you can agree with your spouse on as much as possible. This is the case for over 80% of all divorces.

Cost of a No-Fault Divorce in Mississippi

Cost of your divorce may vary depending on the issues and circumstances at hand. Normally, there are costs to file forms, attorney fees, and sometimes fees to have your spouse served. It is important to consult with our attorney to determine your budget and what you expect to pay.

To learn more about your rights and options in your divorce, contact a Jackson, MS at Chinn & Associates now. We are happy to answer your questions.

Mark Chinn Founding Attorney
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Founder of Chinn & Associates, Mark A. Chinn is a seasoned Jackson, Mississippi family law attorney who has dedicated his career to helping clients through some of the most difficult times in their lives. He is dedicated to using his talent and experience to empower his clients to lead the lives they want to lead.

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