Many people find it stressful to get a divorce. Often, one spouse disagrees with the other spouse over the best arrangement for custody of the kids and whether one spouse will stay in the marital home. There may be disputes about child support, alimony, or property distribution. It can be challenging for either spouse to keep their emotions in check during a divorce. While in some cases a divorce order can be modified, the decisions made may last for the rest of your life. It may be crucial for the wellbeing of your children and you to hire an experienced Biloxi family law lawyer to handle these matters. James L. Farrior, III has 30 years of experience in this area of the law as well as in criminal and personal injury cases.Dissolving a Marriage in Mississippi
If you want to get divorced in Mississippi, you will need to meet certain residency requirements. You need to have resided in Mississippi for six months, but there is no waiting period prior to a divorce before the divorce can be declared final. You can file for a no-fault divorce on the ground of irreconcilable differences, which basically means that the situation between the spouses is such that it would be futile to try to repair the marriage. However, you can also file on the basis of fault grounds, such as cruelty, adultery, willful desertion, and incurable insanity. Sometimes a couple wants to try something slightly different from a divorce, such as a legal separation or an annulment. Each of these paths has certain advantages and disadvantages of which you should be aware.Child Custody
In Mississippi, it may be possible for parents to negotiate their own child custody agreement. Usually joint custody is appropriate. When determining child custody, family courts focus on factors that are relevant to the child's best interest, wellbeing, and safety. Best interest factors include keeping continuity as to education, community, and family life. The court may also consider a parent's abilities to care for a child's needs with regard to education, development, emotion, and physical health. A family law attorney can help Biloxi residents present their position persuasively to protect their child’s future.Alimony
Another issue that may arise is alimony, which is the financial support that the law authorizes one spouse to get from another spouse. In the past, alimony was ordered as punishment in fault divorces in which there was misconduct by the husband. However, courts today award alimony based on a spouse's need for it and the other spouse's ability to pay it, rather than to punish a spouse.
There are two types of alimony: periodic payments and lump sum payments. When lump sum alimony is ordered, one spouse must pay to the other a final, fixed dollar amount that is paid in one payment or over a lengthy period. This amount cannot be modified later, and it is not affected if one of the spouses dies. By contrast, periodic payments are alimony payments that are paid at regular intervals, and these can be modified. They stop when either spouse dies or if the recipient remarries or cohabits with someone else. A Biloxi family law attorney can help you make sure that you build a strong case for receiving alimony if you need it or prevent your spouse from receiving it if it would be inappropriate.Property Division
Mississippi is an equitable distribution state when it comes to splitting marital property. The chancellor or judge has the ability to decide what sort of division is equitable. This may or may not be 50/50, depending on the circumstances. Separate property is not subject to division upon a divorce, so disputes often arise over whether an asset should be classified as marital or separate property.Seek Legal Guidance in a Family Law Matter
James L. Farrior, III, has represented Mississippi clients in family law as well as criminal defense and personal injury matters in the Gulf Coast region since 1987. He is proud of his ethical standards and commitment to personal attention and excellent service, which have helped him build a strong track record of success. Call us today at (228) 388-1924 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation with a family law lawyer in the Biloxi area. We represent clients in Biloxi, Gautier, Bay Saint Louis, Lucedale, Wiggins, Poplarville, and other areas of Harrison, Jackson, Hancock, George, Stone, and Pearl River Counties.