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Mississippi Divorce Self-Help Center

Many customer Mississippi divorce questions are answered here.  Browse from the topics below or use the search box to narrow your search.
 
Search Categories (check the categories to include in your search)
General Information State Procedures   Custody, Visitation, Support
  Property and Debts   Special Circumstances Additional Resources
GENERAL INFORMATION
How does DivorceWriter work? 375
First, complete the basic pre-purchase portion of the online interview. Then, set up your... more
What happens after I receive my DivorceWriter documents? 1917
Just follow the step-by-step instructions included with your DivorceWriter package, which ... more
How do I make changes to my documents after I receive them? 1449
If you want to make changes to any of your documents after receiving them in the mail, you... more
Will DivorceWriter documents work in my state and/or in my situation? 1969
DivorceWriter's goal is to provide self-help divorce documents. However, DivorceWriter is ... more
I finished the online interview. How long will it take to receive my documents? 1981
Get your DivorceWriter documents immediately using the instant download option. You may al... more
I want to use DivorceWriter to prepare my own divorce documents. What do I do next? 1864
To get started, click on "Start the Process" above. You will be taken to our online inter... more
Can I use DivorceWriter in my state? 1979
DivorceWriter offers divorce documents for nearly every U.S. state and the District of Col... more
What if I need additional documents that were not included in my DivorceWriter package? 2000
Contact customer service at info@divorcewriter.com with the name or form number of the the... more
What is the online interview? 1863
In as little as 10-15 minutes, the online interview allows you to enter the information ne... more
Can you overnight my documents to me so that I can have them right away? 2586
Get your DivorceWriter documents immediately using the instant download option. You may a... more
How do I change my password? 1972
To change your password you must first log back into your account using the login section ... more
How do I make changes to my existing DivorceWriter account? 1973
If you already have a DivorceWriter account and need to make changes to your online interv... more
Does DivorceWriter provide documents for annulments? 2165
No. DivorceWriter does not currently provide documents for annulments.
What is included? 3784
The DivorceWriter package includes all forms needed to complete your divorce. These state... more
I didn't list any property or debts in the online interview. Why do some of my documents ask the court to divide property and debts? 3360
Asking the Court for to divide property and debts fairly is standard language in the Divor... more
Do we need to notify the court of any address changes during the divorce? 3405
Any questions concerning the requirements for notifying the court about changes of address... more
Will my documents be completed or will I have to fill them out myself when I receive them? 3121
For the most part, your DivorceWriter documents arrive completed with the information that... more
Does it matter which spouse files for divorce? 3502
Generally speaking, both spouses should have the same rights in a divorce proceeding regar... more
How do I serve a spouse that lives in a different state or country? 3810
The process for serving a spouse that lives in another state or country depends on the sta... more
What is DivorceWriter's fax number? 3419
DivorceWriter's fax number is (800) 344 9889.
I need a form that is not available online or in the DivorceWriter's supplemental forms database. How can I find a sample form elsewhere? 3352
Divorce documents are public record, so it is usually possible to obtain a copy of one or ... more
Can I create another divorce in my account?  2712
Yes, you can purchase additional divorces from your Account Summary page. Login to your a... more
What's the difference between an Acknowledgement and a Jurat? 3634
With an Acknowledgement, the notary is certifying that the signer appeared before the nota... more
We were married in a foreign country. Can we divorce in the U.S.?  2635
As long as you meet the residency requirements for filing for divorce in the state where y... more
I didn't list any property or debts in the online interview. Why do some of my documents ask the court to divide our property and/or debts? 3361
The Divorce Petitions/Divorce Complaints in most states contain language asking the Court ... more
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STATE PROCEDURES
How do I serve my spouse with the divorce papers in Mississippi? 2441
Formal service is not required in a divorce in Mississippi when both parties agree to all terms of the divorce. Each spouse signs the Joint Complaint for Divorce in front of a Notary Public, which is then filed with the Court as proof of service.
Do any documents require notarization? 1982
The filing instructions included with your DivorceWriter package will provide additional i... more
What are the signature requirements for the documents I will receive? 899
The state-specific filing procedures included in the DivorceWriter package indicate which ... more
Where do I file my divorce papers in Mississippi? 2427
Mississippi divorces are filed at the Clerk of the Chancery Court's office in the county where either spouse lives, if both spouses are residents. If only one spouse is a resident, the divorce is filed at the Clerk of the Chancery Court's office in the county where the resident spouse resides. Your self-prepared DivorceWriter package includes detailed procedures on filing for divorce in the county you selected, including the address and telephone number of the Clerk of the Chancery Court.
What if my spouse and I don't live in the same state? 1856
As long as one spouse meets the residency requirements for the state where the divorce wil... more
How long does it usually take to finalize a divorce in Mississippi? 2440
Complaints for divorce on the ground of irreconcilable differences must have been on file for sixty (60) days before a hearing date may be set.
How much is the filing fee in Mississippi? 2438
The DivorceWriter price does NOT include the filing fee charged by the circuit court clerk when you file for divorce. Fees can vary from county to county, but typically range from $50 to $75.
What is considered to be the date of separation in Mississippi? 2431
The term "separation date" refers to the date when the spouses stopped living at the same residence. However, there is no requirement that a couple be separated for any period of time in order to file for divorce in Mississippi.
What documents are included in the self-prepared Mississippi DivorceWriter package? 2439
Your self-prepared Mississippi DivorceWriter package will include:
  • Mississippi Divorce Filing Procedures
  • Joint Complaint for Divorce
  • Separation and Property Settlement Agreement or Separation and Child Custody and Property Settlement Agreement
  • Cover Sheet
  • Financial Statement(s)
  • Certificate(s) of Compliance
  • Notice of Hearing
  • Final Judgment
What are the grounds for filing for divorce in Mississippi? 2434
Mississippi is a no-fault divorce state. Divorce may be granted on the no-fault ground of irreconcilable differences.

Miss. Code Ann. § 93-5-2.
Can I change my name in Mississippi divorce proceedings? 2443
When filing for a divorce, each spouse has the right to petition the court for a name change.
Do I have to divorce in the state where I was married? 1801
No. You can divorce in any state where you or your spouse meet the divorce residency requi... more
Do we have to be separated to get a divorce in Mississippi? 2442
There is no requirement that a couple be separated for any period of time in order to file for divorce in Mississippi.

Miss. Code Ann. § 93-5-4
Does Mississippi require divorcing spouses and/or their child(ren) to attend a class or seminar on coping with divorce? 2445
When the parties to a divorce action have minor children residing with one (1) or both parents, the court may require parties to complete at least two (2) hours of classes concerning parenting issues faced by divorced parents.
Can the wife change her name back during the divorce? 1807
Yes, the wife may restore her name to the name she had before the marriage took place. If ... more
What are the Mississippi residency requirements for filing for divorce? 2433
One of the parties must have been a resident of Mississippi for six (6) months immediately prior to filing for divorce.
What are the basic steps to getting a divorce in Mississippi? 2437
1) Both spouses sign and date the Joint Complaint for Divorce in front of a Notary Public.
2) The Plaintiff files the Joint Complaint and Cover Sheet with the Clerk of the Chancery Court.
3) The spouses exchange completed financial documents and file the Certificate of Compliance with the court.
4) Plaintiff obtains a hearing date and provides the Co-Plaintiff with a Notice of Hearing.
5) Both spouses attend a final hearing, at which time Plaintiff gives testimony and the Chancellor signs the Final Judgment.
There was an error on one or more of the documents that I filed with the Clerk. Now that I have fixed the error(s) on the document(s), is there anything else I have to do to it before I file an amended version of the document with the Clerk? 2934
Generally, if an error has been made in a document that was filed with the Clerk, the corr... more
Can my spouse have documents notarized in a different state? 2981
Yes. If your spouse is unable to have documents notarized by a Notary Public in the state... more
How do I determine if my income falls below the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Poverty Guidelines? 3528
Some states require a person who is applying for a filing fee waiver to have an annual inc... more
My documents ask for the "Cause Number" instead of a "Case Number." Is this correct? 3231
Yes. In a number of U.S. states, the Courts use the term "Cause Number" instead of "Case ... more
Will either of us be required to attend a court hearing? 2429
Yes, in Mississippi, both spouses are required to attend a court hearing. However, if the Co-Plaintiff/Defendant is unable to attend the hearing, it is best to contact the court clerk and find out what options are available.
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CUSTODY, VISITATION, SUPPORT
What is the difference between child support and spousal support? 338
Spousal support is paid to one spouse by the other for the support and care of the receivi... more
We have agreed that one spouse will pay spousal support to the other. What are some options? 1585
Two common ways for one spouse to receive spousal support payments from the other are (1) ... more
Can we specify how we will claim our child(ren) for income tax purposes? 2086
The DivorceWriter online interview allows you to designate which spouse will claim your mi... more
We have received our documents, but have decided that we do not want any parenting time schedule. Is this possible? 2239
The DivorceWriter online interview, which you completed previously, was designed to accomm... more
We have children. Can I still use DivorceWriter? 1802
Yes, you can use DivorceWriter to create your divorce forms even if you have children. Th... more
Do I have to pay income tax on spousal support payments that I receive? 1984
For federal income tax purposes, spousal support is commonly considered taxable income for... more
We already have a child support order issued by a judge. Will we be able to keep the same amount? 2444
DivorceWriter provides the option to enter information regarding an existing child support order including the amount of support ordered and other identifying case information. Generally, you will also be expected to staple one copy of the prior child support order to each copy of the Martial Settlement Agreement you will file with the Court.
What are the different types of custody in Mississippi? 2435
1) Physical custody - those periods of time in which a child resides with or is under the care and supervision of one (1) of the parents.
2) Legal custody - the decision-making rights, the responsibilities and the authority relating to the health, education, and welfare of a child belongs to one (1) of the parents.
3) Joint physical and legal custody- each of the parents shall have significant periods of physical custody and shall be shared by the parents in a way so as to assure a child of frequent and continuing contact with both parents. The parties also share the decision-making rights, the responsibilities and the authority relating to the health, education and welfare of a child.

Miss. Code Ann. § 93-5-24
If my county requires the appointment of a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL), where do I find a list of certified GAL's? 2570
Whenever parties seeking a divorce have children, and no attorney is involved, the Chancery Court in Bolivar County, Coahoma County, Leflore County, Quitman County, Tallahatchie County, and Tunica County requires that the parties hire a guardian ad litem to represent the children's best interest. You may find a list of all certified guardian ad litems here.
When can a child support order be modified in Mississippi? 2436
The party requesting modification of a child support order must show that the application of the guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate, as determined according to the following criteria:

1) Extraordinary medical, psychological, educational, or dental expenses
2) Independent income of the child
3) The payment of both child support and spousal support
4) Seasonal variations in one or both parents' incomes or expenses
5) The age of the child, taking into account the greater needs of older children
6) Special needs that have traditionally been met within the family budget even though the fulfilling of those needs will cause the support to exceed the proposed guidelines
7) The particular shared parental arrangement, such as where the noncustodial parent spends a great deal of time with the children thereby reducing the financial expenditures incurred by the custodial parent, or the refusal of the noncustodial parent to become involved in the activities of the child, or giving due consideration to the custodial parent's homemaking services
8) Total available assets of the custodial parent, noncustodial parent, and the child
9) Any other adjustment which is needed to achieve an equitable result which may include, but not be limited to, a reasonable and necessary existing expense or debt.

See Miss. Code Ann. § 43-19-103
What if my spouse and I have agreed to use a child support amount that is different from the standard amount set by the Child Support Guidelines? 2430
DivorceWriter shows the child support calculation under the guidelines using the Mississippi child support award guidelines.

The customer chooses whether to use the guideline calculation or to deviate from that calculation by entering a different child support amount. If the amount is a deviation from the basic support obligation, the customer will explain the reasons for the deviation in the Marital Settlement Agreement. The court may grant less or more support if the evidence shows that the needs of the dependent(s) require a different level of support.
How is child support calculated in Mississippi? 2428
Mississippi courts calculate child support using a percentage of income formula based on the number of children receiving support.

See Mississippi child support award guidelines: Miss. Code Ann. § 43-19-101(1)
What is the home state of the children under UCCJEA? 3543
While you are entitled to file for divorce in any state where the residency requirements a... more
What if my children live in another state and we already have a court order or informal arrangement concerning child support and child custody? 3651
If you want to have the court issue an order as part of the divorce concerning child suppo... more
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PROPERTY AND DEBTS
Can I receive a portion of my spouse's retirement plan even though his/her retirement is several years away? 46
The most common way for one spouse to secure the right to a portion of the other spouse's ... more
Do we have to list the debts we have agreed to divide? 1989
About 30% of DivorceWriter customers list debts. The debts listed will appear on the sett... more
We want to transfer real estate into only one spouse's name. Do we need a Quit Claim Deed? 311
Generally, if you want to transfer jointly held real estate into the name of only one spou... more
Can we divide/list as many items of personal property as we want? 1764
Choose to list all, some, or no property. The customer decides which property, if any, to ... more
Do I need to list the legal description of my real estate? 757
It is generally sufficient to just list the physical address of the property (street, city... more
What is the "legal description" of a piece of real estate? 2780
The legal description is usually a one to two paragraph description of land that includes ... more
Why do my DivorceWriter documents say that we do not have life insurance or other property that we actually do have? 2726
Some states require divorcing spouses to provide information on several different types of... more
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SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES
I received my DivorceWriter package today, but I'm not sure I want to file for divorce right away. How how long are these papers good for? 2229
Unsigned divorce documents do not have an expiration date per se. Applicable time periods... more
I can't find my spouse. Can I still use DivorceWriter? 2452
DivorceWriter is designed for couples who have reached an agreement on all issues and who ... more
I am not sure my marriage was legal. Do I even need a divorce? 1970
DivorceWriter is for people who want to end their marriages. If you have any questions reg... more
What if I have an out of state driver's license or no license at all? 995
If the spouse who files for divorce does not have a valid in-state driver's license, it ma... more
My spouse is currently incarcerated. Can we still use DivorceWriter? 2234
DivorceWriter documents must be signed by both husband and wife. As long as your spouse is... more
How do we get documents notarized in a foreign country? 2449
The meaning of the term "notary" varies widely from country to country. To find a Notary ... more
Does DivorceWriter provide gender-neutral documents for divorce in states where same-sex marriage is not specifically legalized, but is recognized when performed in another state? 3230
DivorceWriter's current policy is to gender-neutralize our online interview and documents ... more
My spouse is currently incarcerated. What address do I use? 2745
You may use the address at the facility where your spouse is currently incarcerated. Divo... more
How do I end a civil union or domestic partnership? 3446
When recognized in the state, civil unions and/or domestic partnerships can be entered int... more
Which states allow same-sex divorce? 3530
Same-sex couples are allowed to divorce in all states that allow gay marriage, which are c... more
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ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Where can I find additional help? 2410
Additional help is available. Click here to find legal help from the American Bar Associat... more
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CUSTOMER SERVICE
If unable to find help on this page, issues of a non-legal nature may be directed to customer service.
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