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The King Law Firm, PLLC
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When can divorce be granted based on irreconcilable differences?

Divorce in Mississippi is unfortunately common. People who have decided that they are unhappy in a marriage, are unwilling to try and make it work or have other concerns that make the marriage untenable will often want to move forward with a divorce. For some, a divorce based on irreconcilable differences is the easiest option. However, it is important to understand that the law is specific on whether the court will allow a divorce on these grounds.

Understanding irreconcilable differences in a divorce

If a person does not have a specific reason for a divorce such as adultery, habitual drunkenness, the spouse being incarcerated, desertion, abuse or other causes, then it is possible to cite irreconcilable differences. There are requirements for this area of divorce law. The husband and wife must file a joint complaint asking for the divorce or the defendant must have been personally served or has issued a written waiver regarding the complaint.

If there are children, the sides must agree on custody and maintenance. The court must approve the details of the agreement. For couples who have agreed to a divorce based on irreconcilable differences but cannot agree on custody, maintenance or property division, it might be allowed, but the court will decide on these issues. This must be in writing and there are other stipulations such as the divorce not being completed until these issues are settled. There is a minimum of 60 days for which the complaint must be on file before the court will hear it. In cases where one of the parties is contesting the divorce action, there cannot be a divorce based on irreconcilable differences. Still, the party contesting the divorce can withdraw or cancel the challenge and the divorce can be granted.

A divorce due to irreconcilable differences is easier, but the rules are narrow

Family law cases can be difficult and irreconcilable differences as a reason for divorce can simplify the process. Couples who simply want to end their marriage and do not have any lingering disputes or are willing to let the court decide on their outstanding gaps might benefit from using irreconcilable differences as the justification to end the marriage. Despite that, it is not for everyone and in cases where there is acrimony, parts of the case that cannot be negotiated or other sticking points, it is likely better to file for a specific reason. Regardless, it is useful to have assistance from the outset. This can be beneficial to achieving a positive outcome in any circumstance.