What is Incurable Insanity?

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.


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What is Incurable Insanity?
Mississippi Divorce Lawyer discusses incurable insanity.