Mississippi Divorce Statute: A Cooling Off….Or Heating Things Up….Period?

So you both agree that you want to be divorced and you want to be divorced NOW! If no one is at fault for the divorce, you may wish to file what is known as an irreconcilable differences divorce.

Irreconcilable Differences, also known as an “ID” or “no fault” divorce can be less stressful, less costly, and faster than a fault based divorce. The parties in an ID divorce must agree to the terms as set out in a property settlement agreement outlining the division of their debts and assets and a custody agreement if there are children involved.

But unfortunately, if you are wanting a divorce granted in the state of Mississippi, you will have to ride it out for at least sixty (60) days according to Miss. Code section 93-5-2 (4) which states: Divorce on ground of irreconcilable differences: Complaints for divorce on the ground of irreconcilable differences must have been on file for sixty (60) days before the Judgment is entered.

Why would a state require such a long waiting period to grant a divorce if both parties agree that they no longer want to be married to each other? Ironically, there is an expectation of the possibility that during this time, the couple may manage to come to a level-headed and non-confrontational agreement or, better yet, work things out off after having this “cool down” period.

Unfortunately, however, this is not the usual or most common outcome. Instead, during this sixty (60) day period of so-called “cooling off,” things tend to get more heated with both husband and wife fighting over who gets what.

Thus even though the parties may agree to a divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences, it may not be so easy to agree to the division of their debts and assets and/or the custody arrangement for the children. It is during this sixty (60) day waiting period that these issued can be negotiated and worked through with the help of an experienced attorney

Your best bet is to hire an attorney to have on board from the onset. An attorney can help you navigate when the waters of divorce become murky; when what started as a simple “agreed to” ID divorce has now turned into a sour battle.

An attorney can help make sure you get what is rightfully yours from the marriage such as financial support, minimize financial obligations, sort through debt and assets, and make sure your children are treated fairly.

If you are considering filing for divorce, even an ID divorce, it may be wise to contact an attorney first. Once the trigger has been pulled, there will be an equal and opposite reaction….even in an ID divorce. Be ready to protect yourself by hiring a qualified Mississippi divorce attorney experienced in protecting your assets, your livelihood, and the livelihood of your children.

As an experienced divorce and family law attorney practicing in Jackson, Mississippi, I can help you manage any issues that may arise in your divorce and the time it takes to get a Judgment. Please contact the Law Office of M. Devin Whitt for a free consultation at 601-607-5055 for a free consultation.

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