Mississippi Divorce Attorney Describes the Path of a Typical Fault-Based Divorce

In Mississippi, couples have two choices for how they will proceed with their divorce cases. A Mississippi divorce can be no-fault, which means that it is based upon irreconcilable differences, or it can be based upon one of the twelve statutorily recognized grounds for divorce. One of the major distinctions between no-fault and fault-based divorce cases is that the former does not require a trial if the parties are able to agree to mutually acceptable terms, and the latter goes to trial.

Fault-based divorces often take a year or more, from start to finish. At the beginning, the spouse who wishes to file for divorce meets with an attorney and provides them with information regarding their marriage, their finances, their assets, and their family. They discuss their reasons for seeking a fault-based divorce, and their attorney drafts the initial documents for the divorce case, the summons and complaint. These documents set forth the reason why a divorce is being sought, as well as what the plaintiff spouse hopes to obtain from it.

Once the defendant spouse receives the summons and complaint, they have a limited time to prepare their response, or answer, to the complaint. It is recommended that anyone who receives a complaint for divorce seek the assistance of an attorney immediately, so that the attorney will have adequate time to prepare an answer to the complaint, which alleges any defenses or counterclaims that the defendant wishes to present.

After a complaint is filed, either spouse may work with their attorney to decide whether any requests for temporary relief should be made. If it is decided that temporary custody, child support, or other orders are needed, the lawyer for the party requesting the order will file an appropriate motion with the court.

At the same time that any preliminary matters are being decided, the discovery process begins. Discovery is a process through which the attorneys for both parties request and obtain relevant information from each other. The information can be obtained in writing, through the use of interrogatories, or verbally, through the use of depositions. The information which is gathered through the discovery process will be used by the attorneys to prepare the case for trial.

Trials require a great deal of preparation, and fault-based divorce cases are no exception. At-fault cases require the person who filed the complaint for divorce to provide proof of the grounds that they alleged in their complaint. There may be multiple grounds present in any given divorce complaint. The person who has been served with the complaint for divorce has the opportunity to present evidence in support of their defenses to the stated grounds for divorce. Each party must also present evidence that would support a divorce judgment in their favor, and describes what they want as far as a property settlement and a custody agreement, if children are involved. At the close of the trial, the judge will issue final orders on all issues in the divorce.

To learn more about how Mississippi Divorce Attorney Matthew S. Poole can help you, call our office today, at (601) 573-7429 to schedule your free initial consultation.

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Mississippi Divorce Attorney Describes the Path of a Typical Fault-Based Divorce
Mississippi Divorce Attorney explains fault-based divorce in Mississippi.