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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.
 
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General Information State Procedures   Custody, Visitation, Support
  Property and Debts   Special Circumstances Additional Resources
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.
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 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 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.
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 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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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 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 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
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
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.
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.
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