Timeline of a Mississippi Divorce

One of the questions that many divorce clients have is how long their divorce case will take, from start to finish. Since each divorce case is unique, each couple will spend a different amount of time going through the divorce process. That said, it is possible to provide a basic explanation of the common paths which many Mississippi divorces follow.

When a divorce is based upon irreconcilable differences, and the divorcing couple agrees to all of the matters relevant to their divorce, their case usually lasts at least a few months. In this type of case, a couple exchanges financial disclosure forms and signs a joint complaint for divorce, child custody and property settlement agreement, and a final judgment of divorce. These forms are filed with the Chancery court, which reviews them and decides whether or not to approve them. While this seems like it would take weeks, as opposed to months, there may be some discussion or negotiation which is involved as the couple works through the forms and each of them makes their wishes known to each other about how they wish to proceed. Some issues may be easy, such as deciding that each spouse will keep his or her own vehicle. Other issues require more thought, such as what the family’s schedule will be like moving forward. The amount of time that it takes each couple to work out the details of the various aspects of their divorce is the primary deciding factor in how long their divorce will take.

Divorces which are based on grounds for fault can last for a year, or even longer. In Mississippi, at-fault divorce cases must go to trial. Trials require a great deal of preparation. There is evidence to gather and witnesses to examine; there are exhibits to prepare and many other tasks to complete. These are the cases in which the complaint for divorce is based upon one of twelve statutorily recognized reasons that couples would need a divorce. 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 a defense to the stated grounds for divorce.

Some divorces involve a combination of agreements between the parties and decisions issued by the court. For example, if a defendant spouse is served with divorce papers and they do not want to contest the grounds for divorce, they may stipulate to the grounds. Further, if the couple is able to agree about other matters relevant to the divorce in addition to the grounds, such as parent child contact or property distribution, they may make stipulations on those matters as well, leaving the Chancery court to decide only one or a handful of issues on which they cannot reach agreement. Irreconcilable differences divorces may fall into this category as well, with a stipulation as to the reason why the divorce is needed and agreements about some, but not all, of the issues which must be decided. These hybrid cases are not able to be resolved as quickly as an irreconcilable differences divorce case where all matters are settled by agreement, but they do not take as long as a typical at-fault divorce case, either, because there are fewer matters which are being prepared for presentation to the Chancery Court.

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. We have the knowledge, skills and experience necessary to help you get results, regardless of how challenging or complex your case may be.  Contact us now to find out how we can make a difference for you.

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Timeline of a Mississippi Divorce
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Timeline of a Mississippi Divorce
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Mississippi divorce attorney discusses what is the timeline of a Mississippi divorce and offers a free consult.
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