Do You Have to Give Your Husband a Divorce After a 7-Year Separation in the State of Mississippi?

By Heather Frances J.D.

Divorce is governed by each state’s laws, so Mississippi law determines when Mississippi spouses can divorce. Mississippi does not provide for legal separation, so spouses must divorce to legally divide their lives. However, a spouse is not required to give her husband a divorce in Mississippi even when they have been separated for seven years.

Divorce is governed by each state’s laws, so Mississippi law determines when Mississippi spouses can divorce. Mississippi does not provide for legal separation, so spouses must divorce to legally divide their lives. However, a spouse is not required to give her husband a divorce in Mississippi even when they have been separated for seven years.

No-Fault Divorce

Obtaining a divorce is often more difficult in Mississippi than it is in other states because Mississippi’s laws are more restrictive. The only way one spouse can obtain a no-fault divorce in Mississippi is to file on the grounds of “irreconcilable differences,” but courts will not grant a divorce on this no-fault ground unless both spouses have signed a written agreement indicating they both want a divorce and either resolve all issues in the marriage or consent to having the court decide the unresolved issues. Either spouse can stop this divorce process by simply refusing to sign the agreement.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Fault Grounds

Mississippi offers many fault-based grounds for divorce, so if one spouse will not agree to a no-fault divorce, the other spouse can file a suit alleging one of the fault grounds. These grounds include habitual drunkenness, adultery, criminal conviction and drug use. Depending on the cause of a couple’s separation, several of these grounds might fit their situation. A spouse can file on the grounds of desertion for at least one year, but the spouse who left cannot use this ground.

Incentives to Divorce

If none of the fault grounds for divorce match a spouse’s situation and the other spouse will not agree to a divorce, the spouse who wants a divorce must find a way to pressure the other spouse to allow a divorce. For example, the spouse who wants divorce can file for divorce on the grounds of habitual cruel and inhumane treatment to get the other spouse to come to court in an effort to make him understand there is no hope for reconciliation. Sometimes, spouses who did not want to give in to divorce will come to agreement once a divorce lawsuit is filed. If the spouses do reach agreement, they can proceed with a no-fault divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences.

Spousal Maintenance

Sometimes, spouses who can’t agree on divorce must simply live separate lives while remaining married. If one spouse leaves the other without good cause, the abandoned spouse can ask the court to award separate maintenance, or alimony. The court is unlikely to award maintenance if the spouse who is asking for it is also the spouse who left or makes more money than the spouse who left. When one spouse asks for maintenance, the other spouse may change his mind about giving her a divorce. That's because it's cheaper — payments for separate maintenance are set according to a higher standard than spousal support payments in a divorce.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
How Long Do You Have to Be Separated to Get a Divorce in Virginia?

References

Related articles

Types of Divorce in South Dakota

When spouses decide to end their marriage, one or both of them must file for divorce. To be eligible to file for divorce in South Dakota, the filing spouse, called the Plaintiff, must be a resident of the state. The divorce petition must be filed in the Plaintiff's county of residence, unless the Defendant, the other spouse, also resides in South Dakota, in which case the petition may be filed in the Defendant's county of residence.

Desertion Penalty in a Maryland Divorce

When a relationship goes through a difficult time or reaches an end, a husband or wife may decide to leave the marital home. If one spouse leaves or abandons the other, desertion may become a legal issue if the couple divorces in Maryland. In some cases, spousal desertion can penalize a spouse in alimony, property and other divorce-related legal issues.

Divorce Laws in Massachusetts on Spousal Abandonment

Divorces in Massachusetts can be either no-fault or fault-based. Someone who has been abandoned by her spouse can pursue a fault-based divorce by setting forth evidence of abandonment. Abandonment can also be considered in other aspects of a divorce proceeding, such as child support or child custody. Depending on the circumstances, an abandoned spouse may have to comply with a few additional procedures if she cannot find her spouse to notify him of the divorce proceeding.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

Is There a Desertion Divorce Law in Mississippi?

Mississippi law permits spouses to obtain a divorce based on desertion, but only under certain circumstances. If your ...

Can One Mate Refuse a Divorce in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, a spouse who doesn’t want a divorce can make the process take longer and cost more, but he ...

Ohio No-Fault Divorce Requirements

Ohio couples can choose an uncontested divorce, called a dissolution, in which they agree to the divorce and on all ...

Examples of Grounds for Divorce

No matter which state you live in, you must have grounds to file for divorce. All states allow for "no-fault" ...

Browse by category