Mississippi’s Divorce Cases: Law School Expert Offers RecommendationBy Jessica Bell, UniversityHerald Reporter
Getting a divorce in Mississippi is considered to be tougher than most states. Mississippi is only one of the two states in the United States that does not have a true "no-fault divorce" law. In this case, a spouse who does not want a divorce can delay the procedure for a longer period.
In some cases, divorce proceedings can take more than a decade. Which is why reports indicate that there are those making an effort in the Legislature to make small reforms to Mississippi's divorce law.
One spouse expressed that Saudi Arabia can provide a divorce if one wants it but, in Mississippi, she is in the mercy of the other spouse, as reported by the Ledger-Enquirer. Another spouse notes that she has to get her husband's permission to get a divorce and she fears for her safety.
Which is why Deborah Bell, the dean of University of Mississippi Law School, who is considered to be an expert of the Mississippi divorce law, recommends that the spouse should adopt a middle ground between short-term, no-fault divorce and the current fault-based system.
She explains that this new ground can be based on long-term separation. This is another route in the divorce process. Under the Mississippi divorce law, a spouse who condones or forgives marital faults such as domestic violence can not get a divorce unless the act happens again. This means the act of cruelty should have clear and convincing proof that it is a habitual act.
Regardless of Bell's recommendation, women from Mississippi still find it quite difficult to get a divorce and they hope that the legislative process gets revisions soon. It does not only take time but also resources - which is particularly expensive. According to the Sun Herald, the process traps spouses and children in abusive and dangerous environments.
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