Uncontested Divorce in Mississippi
Divorce is a legal process that recognizes that marriage is over. However, some couples have to go through a series of exhausting court hearings, as a result of which their divorce can last for years. At the same time, other spouses get a marriage dissolution in just a couple of months and with no extra cost. This is the characteristics of an uncontested divorce that can be obtained even without the services of a lawyer.
Overview of an Uncontested Divorce in Mississippi
In the process of divorce, spouses must resolve many issues related to their termination. Those couples who are not able to do this independently rely on the judge for him to decide all disputed points of a dissolution. Such a divorce is called contested, and it will be completed only after the judge decides on all aspects of termination. Depending on the complexity of the issues that need to be resolved, the contested divorce can even last for years. Also, spouses should have lawyers who will protect the interests of their clients before a court. Due to this, the contested divorce can be costly.
If the husband and wife are ready to cooperate and can resolve all disputed issues outside the court, such a divorce will be uncontested and will be finished in at least 60 days after all the necessary documents are filed. The main feature of the uncontested divorce is the lack of disagreements between the husband and wife at the time of the final decision. Besides, spouses will not participate in a series of court hearings; they will need to attend only one where the judge will grant a divorce. That is why an uncontested divorce is an affordable and inexpensive way to terminate a marriage since the participation of a lawyer is not required.
Requirements for an Uncontested Divorce in Mississippi
The uncontested divorce implies that the husband and wife have settled all differences and just want to get the final decision. Thus, spouses must agree on all key features of their divorce, including:
- The division of common property.
- Separation of custody of common minor children, as well as draw up a parenting plan.
- Financial support of the child and alimony.
If there are any other disputes related to the divorce, they must also be resolved. All conflicts must be settled before the date of the first hearing; otherwise, the divorce will be contested, and the spouses will have to go through a series of court hearings. In addition, the couple must sign the Settlement Agreement, which contains a description of how the spouses resolve all issues related to their termination. The judge makes the final decision based on the provisions of this agreement.
Also, in Mississippi, it’s possible to get a specific kind of uncontested divorce, which is also known as “divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences.” This type of marriage dissolution is much faster and cheaper. But in order to get it, spouses must meet all the requirements listed below:
- One of the spouses lived in Mississippi for at least six months prior to filing a lawsuit.
- Both spouses agree that the marriage has been broken irrevocably due to irreconcilable differences; therefore, it can no longer exist, and there is no possibility to reconcile.
- Both spouses must sign a joint complaint, which means that they file for divorce together.
- Spouses must draw up an agreement in which they declare the separation of all the key aspects of marital life (property division, custody over common minor children, etc.).
Mississippi Divorce Papers
Below is a list of the frequently used divorce forms in Mississippi. But note that they may vary depending on the county and the circumstances of the termination. So that the court does not reject your case, check with the county clerk what kind of divorce papers are needed in your case.
Mississippi divorce documents:
- Bill of Complaint for Divorce
- Marital Settlement Agreement
- Affidavit Regarding the Children
- Financial Disclosure Statements
- Request for Hearing
- Notice of Hearing
- Decree of Divorce
Mississippi Divorce Without a Lawyer
The good news is that uncontested divorce can be obtained without a lawyer, thereby saving a large amount of money. And it is legal. In the case when the spouses do not need to participate in court hearings, they can fill out all the papers and file them with the court themselves. All the forms that need to be sued can be received from the county clerk. On the web site of Mississippi court, there is an instruction on how to fill them in and what steps should be taken to file a lawsuit.
Also, spouses who have an agreement regarding all key aspects can get an online divorce. This is an inexpensive and affordable way to prepare papers necessary for the court. By online divorce is meant a web site where spouses answer on suggested questions about their marriage and dissolution. Based on the answers, the system selects those forms that meet the characteristics of the couple and fills them out according to the law. In just a couple of days, the spouses will receive ready-made documents that they can sue in court. In addition, the system will send instructions regarding the steps to be taken to file a lawsuit. The cost of online divorce varies depending on the company but does not exceed $ 400 for the entire package of documents. This is in any case significantly lower than the services of lawyers for the preparation of divorce papers.
Mississippi Divorce Process
A divorce begins when a Complaint for Divorce is filed. If both spouses file a claim, they also need to submit the rest of the documents required in their case, as well as the Settlement Agreement. After that, the county clerk will register the case, and a waiting period of at least 60 days will be established.
If only one spouse files a Complaint, then after the court accepted the case, he must provide copies of all submitted documents to the defendant. This is called serving the spouse and is needed to notify the defendant of the commencement of legal proceedings. In turn, the respondent must sign an Answer, thereby agreeing to take part in the process. After that, the claimant must file the remaining documents, and a waiting period of 60 days will begin before the judge starts the proceedings. However, this period may be extended, depending on the workload and schedule of the court. At the end of the waiting period, a hearing date will be set, at which the judge will grant a divorce.
Mississippi Guardian ad Litem
In cases where the divorce is filed without the help of professionals, Mississippi legislation requires that a guardian ad litem be appointed for the minor child in the family to protect the interests of the child. A guardian ad litem is a lawyer whose task is to ensure that the division of custody fulfills the best interests of the child.