Posts Tagged ‘Mississippi Divorce Lawyer’

Through the Eyes of a Child; Divorce Life Lessons

Friday, July 20th, 2018

It is all too common that we forget the smallest things in life, sometimes to our detriment. More often than not, forgetting the simple is counter-productive. Going through a divorce, it is usually the best path forward to revert to the basic that you know with certainty. Attempting to preserve your marriage requires the same thinking.

When Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, arguably the best basketball player, if not athlete of all time, was inducted into the Hall of Fame, he spoke true words of wisdom. When asked by a nationally renowned reporter, “What made you so successful?”, the great said simply, “I just try to do the little things right. To most people it seems like small stuff, but it often makes the difference between winning and losing”. Well said.

We’ve written so many articles about the best approach to get a fair and just result when going through a divorce. We decided it would be refreshing to write on a related topic; a topic intended to assist people in preserving their marriage. This may have lifelong implications for children and is so important to our society. And yes, we are aware of the irony of the article as written by a divorce lawyer.

It is absolutely fundamental that we must work to recognize the concept that Robert Fulgham advanced in his famous book, “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten”. It is necessary to our happiness as well as the well-being of those we care about that we remember the lessons learned as children, and some of them are so simple that they are easily forgotten; be nice to others, don’t hit people, remember to pick up after yourself, work hard, pay attention, and the list goes on as such. These are such simple concepts that in our everyday lives their importance often gets lost in the clutter. That is a true tragedy.

So many adults could bring happiness to not only themselves but their spouse, who is a reflection of themself, and also most importantly to their children by simply remembering the lessons we learned so many years ago.

My office regularly receives calls from prospective divorcees seeking information as to how to obtain a divorce. It is amazing to me that so many people will have failed to even have a discussion with their spouse about whether or not a divorce is a good idea for either spouse. It is my firm belief that this world would be such a better place if we considered others’ feelings, our childrens’ well-being, and the happiness of the one we married as a paramount concern. They are too easily forgotten and brushed aside.

If I may leave you with a simple piece of modest wisdom, ask yourself if you have fulfilled your marital vows, if you have considered your children’s future thoroughly before even contemplating severing the bonds you made in matrimony. Ask yourself through the eyes of a child. If you have truly exhausted all possibilities and are still unhappy in your marriage, you may have very well earned your way out of a bad place. If my office can help you receive justice and fairness as a last resort in the severance of your marriage, give us a call.

Matthew Poole is a Jackson, Mississippi family attorney who is focused on the preservation of fairness and justice and the best interests of children. He was admitted to practice in 2004.

Mississippi Divorce Lawyer Discusses Famous Child Custody Battles in the News

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Across the state of Mississippi and around the world, parents are embroiled in lengthy and exhausting child custody disputes concerning issues like joint versus sole custody, visitation schedules, and child support. This past week, several famous celebrity couples hit the news with shocking tales of their own custody battles. Below is this week’s round-up of famous child custody battles in the news.

As discussed in an August blog post, Kelly Rutherford of the hit television show Gossip Girl has been fighting a child custody battle with her foreign ex for several years now. Recently, a United States court ordered that Rutherford send her two children back to Monaco to reside with their father, Daniel Giersch, after Rutherford attempted to keep the children permanently in New York City following what was supposed to be a short visit. This week, Rutherford and her tv mother, Caroline Lagerfelt, flew to Monaco to plead a local judge to grant her custody.

Back in August, French financier Arpad Busson sued ex-fiancee Uma Thurman, famous for Quentin Tarantino films like Kill Bill Vols. 1 & 2, demanding more time with his daughter. The former couple met for a closed proceeding with their lawyers and a judge. The judge announced that a temporary agreement had been reached, but a permanent parenting plan had not yet been finalized. Following this hearing, Thurman yelled at reporters and demanded privacy. Thurman and Busson went back to court in New York this past week and emerged all smiles. According to the judge, the former couple finally comprised and agreed to a confidential plan that was designed to make their daughter happy.

Chris Brown, well-known for his singing, dancing, and run-ins with the law, was recently awarded joint custody of his daughter. Brown learned he had a daughter back in March with an ex-fling. Brown was proactive about accepting responsibility and was eager to play a major role in his daughter’s upbringing. He filed for paternity, which was confirmed. The mother requested $15,000/month for child support, sole custody, and supervised visitation for Brown. However, the judge awarded Brown joint custody, provided that the daughter spends four days a week with her mother, and ordered Brown to pay only $2,500/month in child support.

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, once Hollywood’s “It” couple, recently announced their decision to co-parent their children despite Affleck’s alleged adultery. The former duo has decided to keep their custody plan private and is not seeking the assistance of the court at this time.

Famous chef Giada De Laurentiis recently split from her husband of eleven years. According to their child custody agreement, the pair will continue to co-parent and share custody of their daughter. As the main earner, De Laurentiis must pay $9,000/month in child support. In addition, due to a lack of prenuptial agreement, the ex-husband will walk away with a stunning Southern California home, extravagant art collection, $2 million in bank accounts, exotic cars, and rights to half of the proceeds for multiple cookbooks in the pipeline for De Laurentiis.

In a sad turn of events, Rosie O’Donnell’s former spouse was hospitalized this past weekend after hearing rumors that O’Donnell had moved on and was dating someone new. Several years ago, the couple married and adopted a daughter named Dakota. The two separated, and the divorce was finalized in February of 2015 after a long and contentious battle regarding parenting styles. The court gave sole custody to O’Donnell, who permits her former spouse to frequently visit with Dakota.

If you are struggling with compromising with your former spouse on child custody issues, contact the Mississippi Divorce Lawyer Matthew S. Poole now at (601) 573-7429 to discuss your case for free.

Mississippi Divorce Lawyer Discusses How to Explain Child Custody to Your Young Child

Sunday, September 20th, 2015

A divorce alone is difficult enough for your child. The trial separation, the fighting, the court hearings, and the stressful atmosphere can cause extreme trauma for your child. When you factor in child custody, the anxiety level may heighten. Your child will be shipped off to various homes, will witness terse encounters when you and your former spouse meet to exchange your child, and may have difficulty adjusting to the unexpected changes.

When explaining child custody to your child, it is important to first understand how a child thinks. Books, television shows, movies, and even past parts of your relationship have shown your child that parents love each other unconditionally and until death do them part. Media targeted toward children does not show divorced families or even single parent families, so the concept is foreign to your child.

While it may seem illogical for your child to blame the divorce on himself or herself, many children in fact do this. Children remember happy memories in which the entire family was doing something together, having fun, and smiling.  When you argue with your former spouse in front of your child, you child often thinks that he or she is the cause of this arguing. In addition, divorce is a very emotionally taxing experience for the parents, and children are commonly neglected during this period. When children do not have the same loving household and level of attention they are accustomed to, they believe that they must have done something to cause this.

So knowing that, how do you go about explaining something as difficult as child custody with your child? Below are five tips to get you started.

  1. Work as a team. This may be one of the most difficult conversations you will ever have with your child. Regardless of how you feel about your former spouse, you must join together to tackle this head-on as a team. If you or your former spouse has a new significant other, do not invite this person to the discussion. Parents only!
  2. Explain divorce to your child. This is the hardest step, but it is imperative that you start the conversation with explaining what divorce is. Provide examples of people who have gotten divorced. Then explain why you and your former spouse are divorcing. Make this explanation age-appropriate and gloss over real issues. For example, if you are divorcing due to adultery, simply state, “Mommy and Daddy still care about each other very much, but we think it would be better for the family if we lived in different houses.” Do not disparage your former spouse in front of the child.
  3. Tell your child that he or she is not to blame. Your child needs to know that he or she played no fault in the divorce. In addition, your child needs to know it is okay to be upset or sad.
  4. Tell your child the proposed custody and visitation schedule. Clearly but succinctly explain the schedule you and your former spouse have come up with so that you child knows what to expect. Your child will likely have a lot of questions about how the schedule will work. Be prepared to tackle difficult questions.
  5. Listen to your child. There may be something about your proposed schedule that works for you and your former spouse but not your child. For instance, your child may want to stay with Mom during the weekends in order to play with friends or may want to be with Dad on Monday nights for baseball practice. Be flexible based on your child’s suggestions and concerns.

If you need advice on child custody in Mississippi, contact Mississippi Divorce Lawyer Matthew S. Poole today at (601) 573-7429 to schedule a free consultation.


Mississippi Divorce Lawyer Discusses When Custody Disputes Become Kidnapping Charges

Saturday, September 19th, 2015

When one Mississippi parent violates the child custody agreement, commonly one of four things happens: (1) the other parent forgives and forgets, (2) the two parents talk and come to a mutual understanding, (3) the court scolds and warns the parent or (4) the court holds the parent in contempt. However, some courts have grown weary of flagrant violators, and prosecutors have turned to filing formal criminal charges for kidnapping.

In one famous case, Lisa Miller and Janet Jenkins met in 1997 and began a same-sex relationship. The two women longed to start a family together and traveled to Vermont in 2000 to obtain a civil union. Just one year later, the women began discussing pregnancy. Lisa Miller conceived through in vitro fertilization. Unbeknownst to Janet, Lisa questioned her sexuality during her pregnancy and began to believe that homosexuality was an immoral way of life. When their newborn daughter, Isabella, was only seventeen months old, the two women separated. Lisa subsequently moved to Virginia, which did not recognize civil unions at the time, and Janet drove for 10 hours each weekend to see her daughter and pay child support.

However, the child custody agreement between the two women was weak in a state like Virginia, which did not recognize parental rights for same-sex couples. Lisa became embroiled in the Mennonite faith and began working for a church. At this time, she started blocking Janet from visiting Isabella. Janet would make the long drive only to find that Lisa had left with Isabella.

Eventually, Lisa sought full custody of Isabella, arguing that the Defense of Marriage Act stated that Janet was not legally a parent because she had no biological ties to Isabella. Initially, Lisa was granted full custody. However, an appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court gave Janet a visitation schedule.

Despite this higher court-ordered visitation schedule, Lisa was hesitant to allow her daughter to visit with her other mother. She again began to refuse to let Janet see Isabella. The two women repeatedly went to court to the exasperation of the judge. Each time, the judge gave Lisa a second chance and ordered visitation. However, after numerous denials of Lisa’s pleas for sole custody on the basis of religious beliefs, she began to concoct a plan.

When Isabella was only seven years old, she and Lisa boarded a car full of Mennonites headed for upstate New York without the knowledge or consent of the court or Janet. Once in upstate New York, they took a cab to Canada, then flew to Mexico, and finally flew to Nicaragua. When they arrived in Nicaragua, they assumed the names Lydia and Sarah.

For the past five years, Isabella, now twelve, wanders the Nicaragua slums with her mother in a desperate attempt to flee U.S. Marshals. The mother-daughter duo receive help from Mennonite communities in Nicaragua but live largely in squalor.

In fact, according to a New York Times article, several individuals and Lisa herself are now being prosecuted for international parental kidnapping and conspiracy. Philip Zodhiates was the individual who picked up Lisa and Isabella in Virginia and drove them to upstate New York. Zodhiates sells mailing lists to conservatives in Virginia. He faces up to eight years in federal prison.

In addition, Timothy Miller, a Mennonite Nicaraguan missionary, has been formally charged with aiding Lisa by assisting them in Nicaragua. Kenneth Miller was already convicted of aiding and abetting international parental kidnapping in 2012.

Meanwhile, Janet was awarded sole custody in 2010 and awaits the day her daughter returns.

If you or someone you know is struggling with a child custody issue, call the Mississippi Divorce Lawyer Matthew S. Poole today at (601) 573-7429 to schedule a free initial consultation.

Mississippi Divorce Lawyer Explains the Most Common Child Custody Clichés

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

You hear them in movies and television shows. You see them on magnets. Even your own parents repeat them to you. Clichés. For some reason, the divorce and child custody process brings the clichés out of the woodwork. As a family law attorney who has practiced in Mississippi for the past ten years, I have heard them all. Most clichés are well-meaning but flawed, while others are shockingly wrong. It is important to understand that no two child custody cases are alike, so it makes sense that these overbroad and generalized sayings should not apply to every family. Below I list five of the most commonly used child custody clichés and discuss how they might actually provide guidance for your life.


  1. [Former spouse] isn’t fit to be a parent. You may have had the most tumultuous relationship ever – adultery, lies, and gambling. However, just because someone makes a bad spouse does not mean that they make a bad parent. In fact, most clients I have worked with are excellent, loving, and very involved parents who simply married people who weren’t right for them. Don’t try to preclude your ex from exercising his or her parental rights simply because you didn’t like the way they treated you.
  2. [Former spouse] can’t bring his/her new [girlfriend/boyfriend] around my child. You will always be your child’s parent, and no one can take that away from you. However, the time will come when your former spouse will move on and meet someone new. You may feel a twinge of jealousy to find out the news, and this may grow as your child begins regaling you with happy tales of time spent with your ex’s new beau. While your first instinct may be to restrict the visitation schedule or seek an order from the judge banning the new spouse from interacting with your child, don’t forget the impact this may have on your child. You want your child to be surrounded by healthy and positive relationships.
  3. I’m the mother, so I’ll get sole custody. While Mississippi courts in the past traditionally awarded sole physical custody to the mother, times are changing. I am now seeing more shared parenting and single dads with custody. Mississippi courts are more readily recognizing the father’s parental rights and are more apt to award joint custody when requested.
  4. [Child] doesn’t love [former spouse] as much as me. This isn’t a competition. The emotional stress of divorce may have become entangled with your child custody planning. Remember that a child develops best when both parents are able to play an active and meaningful role in the child’s life. By preoccupying yourself with competing with your former spouse for your child’s love, you may be inhibiting your child’s ability to learn about healthy adult relationships.
  5. Let’s bring [child] to court to choose. Unless your child is an adult teenager, you should never put your child in the middle of a custody battle. In fact, when you need to go to court for a custody hearing, leave your child with a babysitter. The less involved your child is with the dispute process, the better. Asking your child to choose will put undue hardship on the child. In addition, your child may feel overwhelmed and confused about what is happening. If the court requests the child’s opinion or preference, ask that your child be interviewed in private by the judge to minimize stress.

Cliché or not, it is vital that you speak with a child custody attorney in Mississippi if you are facing difficulty agreeing on a visitation schedule or type of custody. For experienced advice on the divorce and child custody process, contact Mississippi Family Law Attorney Matthew S. Poole at (601) 573-7429 now.

Mississippi Divorce Lawyer: Is It Time to File For a Mississippi Divorce

Saturday, July 5th, 2014

While some people do a great deal of thinking prior to filing for divorce, others file for divorce impulsively, in the heat of the moment. Divorce is a serious undertaking, and should involve a great deal of thought and planning, especially as to the timing of when you will file for divorce if you come to the conclusion that it is what you need to do. While there are many things to think about in the months or even years leading up to a divorce, there are a few topics that should certainly not go unexplored.

Sometimes, the problem that you are having with your spouse right now is a sign that things need changing within the relationship, instead of a sign that the relationship must end. Attempting to work through a serious issue with a significant other can clarify whether your relationship is header for higher ground, or whether divorce is the likely result. In other words, whether divorcing is the right choice for you may be less about the problem at hand then it is about how your spouse responds to your suggestions for addressing it. There is a big difference between a spouse who acknowledges that the problem is indeed very serious, engages in respectful conversations with you about how the two of you could address it together, and follows through with their part of any plan that the two of you make to resolve it and the spouse who looks at you after you inform them that there is a problem and asks you what you plan to do about it.

If you are feeling more and more like you need to divorce your spouse, be honest with yourself about how you plan to deal with the emotional aspects of a divorce. Make an honest assessment of whether you are ready to process all of the intense emotions that are inherent in the process of divorce. Make a plan for how you will address the wide range of emotions that you will feel. Your plan can include anything that you think will work for you, from counseling to talking to friends or spiritual advisors, or any other method that you think will meet your unique needs. If you can accept that your divorce will be an emotional experience, then you are well on your way to being ready to weather the storm. If, on the other hand, you think that the experience of leaving your marriage can be accomplished with little to no emotion, you may want to think about it a bit more before proceeding.

Planning for the practical aspects of your divorce is just as important as planning for how you will address the difficult emotions which are part of the divorce process. It is essential that you have a plan in place for where you will live, how you will support yourself and your children, and so on, before you file for divorce. When you do have a plan ready to go, you can file for divorce with the confidence that you are ready to take that step and move forward into your divorce.

Once you are ready to file for divorce, it is time to seek the assistance of a Mississippi Divorce Lawyer. Your Mississippi Divorce Attorney can help you to define your goals and pursue a resolution of your divorce case that will help you to meet those goals. To find out how Mississippi Divorce Attorney Matthew S. Poole can help you with your divorce, please call our office today, at (601) 573-7429 to schedule a free consultation.

Mississippi Divorce Lawyer Discusses Assigning Value to the Contributions of a Homemaker

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Mississippi law requires that the marital assets of a divorcing couple be divided equitably, or fairly, when they part ways. When a married couple marries, the parties begin contributing to something bigger than just themselves – the household. There are many things that go into maintaining a household, and earning income is just the tip of the iceberg. Even for couples without children, married people do things in their roles as spouses and keepers of the home which contribute to the well-being of the household as a whole. When children are part of the picture, their parents take on the roles of mother and father.

The collection of assets that are considered to be marital property in any divorce is always far more extensive than the very narrow list of things which the court will consider as separate property. This means that most assets are to be divided equitably. Full disclosure of all debts and assets is an important part of the divorce process, so that each spouse can see what, exactly, the pool of marital property looks like that they will be dividing.

When one spouse foregoes a career outside of the home to fulfill the role of homemaker or stay at home parent, they enable the wage earning spouse to “do their thing”, so to speak, without having to concern themselves with many of the other things that go into maintaining a household and/or raising children. In this way, they contribute to the acquisition of marital property, and sometimes even to an increase in the value of separately held property.

Divorce can be a scary thing for a homemaker/stay at home parent, because the income which they relied on for their day to day needs will no longer be a part of their lives in the same way that it had been during the marriage. A divorcing homemaker is likely to be very concerned with how they will be able to support themselves and their children, if they have any, after the split. After all, divorce means that they will need to secure separate housing and all of the things that go into maintaining it, as well as having money to put food on the table and pay for all of the things that they and their children need.

Fortunately, the non-economic contributions of homemakers and stay at home parents are recognized by the courts, which go through a process of listing all of the things that the homemaker spouse has done to contribute to the household, and assigning an approximate value to them so that an estimate of their total contribution can be calculated. Each homemaker spouse’s list is unique, so no two will have the same value. The contributions of the wage earning spouse are likewise assessed, with values being assigned not only to wages earned, but to professional licenses and college degrees, because if those were acquired during the marriage, the activities of the homemaker spouse may have played a large role in making those things possible.

A fairly recent estimate of the “salary” that would be due an average homemaker based upon the work that they do was calculated by financial news source to be a little over ninety six thousand dollars a year. If you are a homemaker and you are reading this for the first time, it’s okay to be a little surprised, because it is very likely that you did not realize just how much your contributions are worth, in an economic sense. Of course, the facts of each case vary, with some duties being outsourced in some homes and some duties being shared in others.

If you are a homemaker or a stay at home parent who is planning to get divorced in Mississippi, it is essential that you speak with an attorney who understands how to calculate the worth of your contribution to the household. Your Mississippi Divorce Lawyer can explain the Mississippi divorce laws as they apply to your particular situation, and they can help you resolve your divorce in a way that works for you. To find out how Mississippi Divorce Attorney Matthew S. Poole can help you navigate the divorce process, please call our office today, at (601) 573-7429 to schedule a free consultation.

What is Incurable Insanity?

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Mississippi courts require couples to tell them why they should be granted a divorce. The State of Mississippi recognizes twelve grounds, or reasons, for divorce. One of the grounds upon which a divorce may be granted in Mississippi is that one of the parties suffers from incurable insanity.

Unfortunately, when people speak about divorce, they often use exaggerated terms to describe their ex, or soon to be former spouse. They may say “he’s crazy”, or “she is totally insane”. Much of the time, these statements are made based upon the speaker’s opinion of the person that they are talking about, and not on any actual psychological diagnosis.

Since incurable insanity is a legally recognized grounds for divorce in Mississippi, it is important that parties who are thinking of filing for divorce based upon this reason understand the difference between incurable insanity and the more common mental-health themed insults that many divorcing parties sling around carelessly. Incurable insanity is a serious condition and there are strict criteria that the purportedly sane spouse must meet in order to qualify for a divorce due to incurable insanity. For example, one requirement is that the allegedly insane spouse must have been confined to an institution for at least three years, or have been deemed incapacitated as per a diagnosis from a medical professional for at least that long.

In order to qualify for a divorce based upon the grounds of incurable insanity, the purportedly sane spouse must prove that he or she was unaware of the insane spouse’s insanity at the time of the marriage or that the insane spouse started to suffer from their insanity during the marriage. This requirement serves to make this particular reason for divorce unavailable to anyone who was aware of a prospective spouse’s insanity and chose to marry them anyways. Interestingly enough, the definition of insanity varies depending upon who you ask. Some people consider it to be most relevant in criminal matters, for the purpose of determining whether an individual had the capability of understanding that their actions were wrong. To further complicate matters, there is not a “diagnosis” of insanity that comes from the DSM. In fact, psychologists are more likely to diagnose a mentally ill individual with a specific type of mental illness than they are to say that the person is “insane”. For this reason, individuals who suffer from a variety of mental illnesses may qualify for a divorce based upon incurable insanity if their illness has resulted in institutionalization or incapacity.

There are a number of ways in which a divorce based on the grounds of incurable insanity is likely to differ from a divorce based upon one of the other grounds for divorce. One difference is that since incurable insanity makes participating in legal proceedings difficult, a guardian may represent their interests in the divorce case. Also, while awards of alimony are becoming less and less common due to the shrinking income gap between men and women, if your spouse’s insanity renders him or her incapable of providing for his or her own financial needs, the court may award alimony in your case.

If your spouse suffers from incurable insanity, you may be interested in divorcing them. In a matter as important as a divorce, it is essential that you retain an experienced Mississippi Divorce Lawyer who understands the divorce process. To learn more about how Jackson area divorce attorney Matthew S. Poole can help you, call our office today, at (601) 573-7429 to schedule your free initial consultation.


Warning Signs to Consider If Your Spouse is Having an Affair

Saturday, May 24th, 2014

If you have ever wondered whether you would know if your spouse was cheating on you, you may have come to one of two conclusions. You may think that you would certainly know, because you would notice that something was amiss and investigate it further until you discovered the truth. Alternatively, you may think that you would have no idea about it, because you would not know what to look for that would suggest that things are not as they should be.

Whether your spouse is a man or a woman, the following clues may suggest that they are having an affair. Many of these clues come from changes in their appearance, as they are likely to have a renewed interest in looking good for their new romantic interest. Some people change the style of the clothes that they wear frequently, but others do not. If your spouse suddenly has an interest in fashion, or his or her style changes drastically, they may be changing up more than just their wardrobe. If your spouse has never been interested in things like tanning, cosmetic surgery, tooth whitening treatments, waxing, or laser hair removal, a sudden interest in them may indicate a desire to look good for someone else. Likewise, changes in diet and exercise routines without a prior interest in those things or a suggestion from the doctor could mean that they are trying to impress someone.

If your spouse’s work schedule suddenly changes, and they begin spending longer hours away from home when their work had not previously required it, they may be engaging in other activities before or after work. Likewise, if their work did not previously require out of town travel or spur of the moment trips to the office on their days off, their workplace may have nothing to do with their increased absence.

Since time spent with a paramour probably occurs outside of working hours, it cuts into the time that your spouse would normally spend time with you. If you have noticed that your spouse is always saying that they have errands to run, or they make excuses as to why they cannot attend family events or spend time with the rest of the family, they may be spending that time with someone else.

Technology habits can also tip you off to potential infidelity. If your spouse has two cell phones, and one of them is not a work-issued phone, there may be something going on. Likewise, if their phone is never off of their person or the screen is always locked, they may be hiding something. Also, an increased need for privacy when they are on the phone may indicate that they do not want you to know who they are talking to. A sudden change in internet use may also cause you to wonder what they are doing online for all of those hours, especially if they delete the browsing history.

Unfortunately, cheating spouses also distance themselves from their spouses as they focus their attention on the person with whom they are having an affair. If your spouse has started picking fights, or you have noticed a change in their demeanor towards you, that may be a sign of trouble. Likewise, if they seem emotionally distant, they may be trying to push you away as they pull someone else closer.

The sinking feeling that comes along with beginning to suspect that your spouse is having an affair is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the range of emotions that you are likely to experience as you go through the process of uncovering the affair and filing for divorce. To find out how Mississippi Divorce Lawyer Matthew S. Poole can help you navigate the divorce process, please call our office today, at (601) 573-7429 to schedule a free consultation.

A Profile of Mississippi Divorce Attorneys: Part II

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

Divorce attorneys—we all know of them, but how much do we really know about them?  In Part I of this two part series profiling the Mississippi divorce attorney, we addressed some basics about what a divorce lawyer is, when divorce law developed, and how one becomes a divorce attorney.  In this segment, we will continue our study on divorce attorneys, looking at the commonality of the practice, average pay scale, and the reason behind all those lawyer jokes.

How many divorce lawyers are there in Mississippi?

There are over 7,000 active resident attorneys in the state of Mississippi.  This amounts to approximately 23 lawyers per 10,000 residents, which is actually below the U.S. average of nearly 40 attorneys per 10,000 residents.  There is no official organization that provides data on the number of attorneys practicing within a specialty, however, a search of the website, which allows users to rank attorneys, reveals over 100 divorce lawyers in the state., another lawyer ranking site, lists over 200.  There are likely many more firms in the state who handle divorces as part of a more general practice.  In the Jackson area, over 60 attorneys advertise themselves as divorce attorneys.

What is the average salary of a Mississippi divorce attorney?

Divorce lawyers nationally earn an average of $56,000 annually, which is on the lower end of average for attorneys across all disciplines nationwide.  Salaries can vary greatly by region with those in the South typically earning less, though lower cost of living can equalize these two factors.

How many divorces occur each year?

A divorce occurs every 13 seconds in the U.S.  Over a two million couples will wed each year, and over a million couples will divorce.  Mississippi has a slightly higher than average number of divorces a year, with 4 individuals per every 1,000 obtaining a divorce.

Is the field of divorce law expected to grow?

Divorce law, and its broader accompaniment of family law, is expected to continue to grow as an industry.  Employment of divorce lawyers is expected to increase 13% in the coming years.  Interestingly, statisticians show that as the economy improves, the number of divorces will actually increase.  It is theorized that individuals in troubled marriages choose to wait out the worst of an economic turndown before feeling comfortable enough to finally pursue the divorce they have wanted.  Therefore, as our economy continues to shakily climb, the number of divorces might jump in coming years, meaning more business for divorce lawyers.

Why do attorneys have such bad reputations?

We have all likely heard a number of lawyer jokes and perhaps laughed at a lawyer’s expense.  While the public perception of lawyers is not all bad, some negative associations do seem to follow the practice.  One possible reason for this is the simple fact that people tend to only need an attorney when something has gone wrong, often terribly wrong, in their lives.  Whether it be a bitter divorce, criminal charges, or financial woes, you see an attorney when you are at your worst which might tend to color your perception of the field.

The media also has much to do with the bad reputation of lawyers.  Television shows and movies often depict the stereotypical greedy or money hungry attorney.  Further, the sensationalizing of certain lawsuits, such as the McDonald’s hot coffee suit, has led some to form a negative opinion of lawyers as greedy and willing to bring frivolous suits.

Despite unfair media depictions, most attorneys, particularly divorce attorneys, enter the profession with the desire to help their clients.  Divorce lawyers understand that they are assisting their clients through what is likely the lowest point of their lives.  With their unique skill set, thorough research, and dedication, divorce attorneys can lead clients through divorce to a brighter future.

The Law Office of Matthew S. Poole: Providing Skilled and Compassionate Representation

At The Law Office of Matthew S. Poole, we care deeply about each of our clients and devote an inordinate amount of time and study to ensuring our clients obtain the best possible outcome from their divorce.  Call attorney Matthew S. Poole today at (601) 573-7429 to see how he can begin shaping your tomorrow.