Clinton Family Lawyers Helping Resolve Legal Issues within Your Family
Family law covers many different matters involving family relationships. Some of the most common include divorce, child custody, and adoption. Other types of cases a family law attorney can help with include emancipation of minors, child support, paternity, and parental or grandparents’ rights. In addition to representing you in family court, a family law attorney can help you to draft important documents such as property agreements, visitation agreements, or pre-nuptial agreements, among others.
One of Rundlett Law Firm’s skilled and knowledgeable family law attorneys can also help with mediation outside of court and can work to streamline processes and take some of the stress out of what can be very difficult family issues. Call our Clinton, Mississippi office today at (601) 353-8504 to enlist the help of one of our experienced and accomplished family law attorneys.
What Is Required to Get Divorced in Mississippi?
Different states have different laws regarding divorce. In Mississippi, you must have lived in the state for at least six months prior to filing. There are 12 allowable reasons for divorce, called “grounds” in the state. A couple can file for a no-fault divorce, meaning that both parties have agreed that divorce is the best course of action, and neither spouse is contesting the divorce. If one spouse sues the other for divorce, however, there are only 12 grounds that are allowed under state law.
These include such things as habitual cruelty, adultery, incarceration, habitual drunkenness or drug addiction, or other situations that have an adverse effect on the spouse who is suing for the divorce and on the marriage itself. If filing for divorce under “irreconcilable differences,” there is a 60-day waiting period, assuming that all issues between the spouses have been resolved and the court has approved the property settlement. In divorces filed on other grounds, there is no stated waiting period, but the defendant spouse must have at least 30 days’ notice before the trial in family court.
How Is Marital Property Divided in Mississippi?
Each state can be slightly different in the ways that the law addresses the definition of marital property and its division in a divorce. In a community property state, all property and assets are considered jointly held by the spouses, regardless of when they were acquired, and are divided equally. Mississippi is not a community property state. Instead, Mississippi law defines marital property as only those assets that have been accumulated within the marriage. If one spouse already owned a home before marrying, for example, that house is not considered marital property. Gifts and inherited assets are considered separate property unless they were co-mingled with marital assets. When it comes to pensions or retirement accounts, funds accumulated before the marriage are not considered marital property, but funds accumulated during the marriage are marital property.
Once marital property is identified, Mississippi law requires that it be divided fairly and equitably, which may or may not mean equally. What a judge considers fair and equitable distribution will depend on factors such as how much each spouse contributed in the accumulation of the property, whether one of the spouses wasted or disposed of marital property, and any economic consequences or taxes resulting from the division of property, among other considerations. Marital debts as well as assets will be divided equitably and fairly, but not always equally in Mississippi divorce cases.
How is Child Custody Determined in Mississippi?
When parents, whether married or unmarried, are splitting, child custody can be one of the most difficult issues to negotiate. Like most states, Mississippi has a set of laws surrounding child custody that focus on the best interests of the child. There are two kinds of child custody: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody is the ability to make decisions about important issues in the child’s life such as education, medical care, and religious upbringing, among others.
Physical custody involves who the child lives with. While the state of Mississippi prefers joint physical and legal custody and assumes this is in the best interests of the child, there are circumstances in which joint custody would not serve the child well. In these cases, one or the other parent is awarded full physical custody, while the two parents may or may not still share joint legal custody, depending on the circumstances. Negotiating custody and visitation agreements that are best for your child can be contentious and complex. An experienced family law attorney from Rundlett Law Firm, PLLC can help you through this difficult time and give you your best chance at the outcome you desire. Call us today at (601) 353-8504 to get started.
How Can a Family Lawyer Help?
In family law cases, emotions are often running high and stress levels may be peaking. In times like these, you are not always mentally or emotionally prepared for the tough negotiations involved in a divorce, child custody case, or other family law issue. You need a compassionate but tough family law attorney on your side to help you through these difficult legal processes and make sure that you have considered all of the ramifications of your agreements. Experienced family lawyers have mediation skills that can minimize conflict, move parties toward agreement, and get the best possible results in your family law case, as well as knowledge of the applicable laws and skill in drafting the necessary legal documents.
The last thing you need in a time of family upheaval is the stress of conflict and uncertainty. Let a skilled family lawyer from Rundlett Law Firm reduce the burden of working through your family law case. We stand ready to work in the best interests of you and your children, giving you peace of mind knowing that you have an experienced legal professional on your side.