Have you ever thought about un-divorcing or re-marrying your divorced spouse? For many folks, the answer is typically a stern “absolutely not,” but for some, the answer could be an optimistic “maybe” because love is a strange creature that can be rekindled even after divorce. Perhaps the time apart from a divorced former spouse gives a person time to cool off, reflect on the marriage, and even develop or re-develop a passionate fondness and appreciation for their former spouse. A perceptive account of such rekindled romance may be seen in The Parent Trap (1999), a remake of a timeless Disney movie about how twin sisters on opposite sides of the globe scheme to reunite their divorced parents by switching places. In short, aside from Disney’s portrayal of rekindled love, it is not inconceivable for divorced persons to reconcile and want to re-marry one another.
Mississippi law provides a mechanism for divorced former spouses to reunite and “re-marry” without all of the formalities of another marriage. Under Mississippi law, a divorce may be revoked–meaning that a divorce may be annulled or set aside as if it never happened. MS § 95-5-31 (2014). Divorce revocation, or as some have termed it “undivorce,” is a rarely used tool and many people are unaware that it is even an option. But, like most legal mechanisms, there is a strict procedure that must be followed in order to revoke a divorce in Mississippi.
In Mississippi, a divorce may be revoked (1) at any time, (2) by the court which granted it, (3) under such regulations and restrictions as [the court which granted the divorce] may deem proper to impose, (4) upon the joint application of the parties, and (5) upon the production of satisfactory evidence of reconciliation. Carlisle v. Allen, 40 So. 3d 1252, 1259 (Miss. 2010).
So, the procedure is simple. First, the parties must file a joint application to revoke the divorce in the court that granted their divorce. In the joint application, the parties may set forth or attach any evidence of reconciliation for the court to consider. Then, the court has the ultimate discretion to revoke the divorce by assessing whether the evidence of reconciliation is sufficient enough to warrant revocation and whether, if any, additional requirements imposed by the court have been satisfied.
Perhaps the most endearing aspect of divorce revocation is its timeless availability. The Mississippi divorce revocation statute is void of any specific duration or time limitations for when divorced spouses may seek divorce revocation–in some instances, even death cannot prevent divorce revocation. In the Carlisle case, a divorce was revoked even after the death of one spouse. In that case, divorced spouses filed a joint application to revoke their divorce, but before the application and revocation could be granted by the court, the husband died. The deceased husband’s heirs objected to the divorce revocation, but the lower court granted the revocation anyway because all statutory requirements were met. Ultimately, the Mississippi Supreme Court affirmed the lower court’s decision holding that the husband’s death did not prevent divorce revocation because (1) there was no specific statutory time limitation for revoking a divorce and (2) there was ample evidence of reconciliation between the divorced spouses prior to the husband’s death that warranted revocation under Mississippi law.
Thus, divorce revocation is a viable and relatively simple option to reunite divorced couples in Mississippi. Mississippi law permits persons previously divorced the opportunity to reunite in matrimony without the hassle of another formal marriage by simply revoking the divorce. So, here’s to “Happily Ever After”–again.
As an experienced divorce and family law attorney in Mississippi, I can help you navigate the process of divorce revocation. Should you or a friend need professional assistance and representation in a divorce, divorce revocation, or any other family matter, please contact the Law Office of M. Devin Whitt for a free consultation at (601) 607-5055.