How to File for a Divorce in Mississippi

Mississippi divorces start with the filing of a complaint.

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Filing for a divorce is the first step you must take before the court can grant a final dissolution of your marriage in Mississippi. The state allows spouses to divorce over irreconcilable differences as long as at least one has been a Mississippi resident for at least six months before filing. No divorce on those grounds can be granted for a minimum of 60 days after a divorce petition has been filed. There are no waiting periods, however, for filing under the other 12 grounds allowed for a contested divorce. Be sure to talk to an attorney or, at the very least, seek qualified help before you file.

Draft your complaint. The official document you file with the court asking it to grant a divorce is called a complaint in Mississippi, though it is sometimes referred to as a petition. Your complaint must state the nature of your case, the names of the people involved, what you're asking the court to do and any other relevant information required by the law. You need to ensure all the information in your complaint is accurate and true to the best of your knowledge, as it is an official document that must be sworn to before a notary or other state official.

File your divorce papers. Once your petition is prepared, you must file it with the appropriate court. Which court with which you file your petition depends on such factors as which party meets the state's residency requirements and the reasons for which the divorce is sought. In any case, you can file in the county in which the defendant resides, regardless of the reasons or which party meets the minimum residency requirements.

Notify the spouse. Once your petition is filed with the county clerk, you must serve an official copy of the divorce petition on your spouse. Your spouse can waive the service by filing an affidavit of consent with the court clerk in the county where the complaint is filed, or you can achieve service through any means allowed under state law.

About the Author

Roger Thorne is an attorney who began freelance writing in 2003. He has written for publications ranging from "MotorHome" magazine to "Cruising World." Thorne specializes in writing for law firms, Web sites, and professionals. He has a Juris Doctor from the University of Kansas.

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