Mississippi will not add domestic violence as grounds for divorce


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Thanks for making us look better, Mississippi.



Mississippi god-damn.



I’m surprised anyone needs “grounds” anymore. Is this naive?


This just makes me feel ill. On one hand the US federal government will shoot a memo to employees letting them know that, “rule of thumb” is a phrase to be avoided; because it refers to a law deeming it illegal to beat your wife with an implement having a circumference exceeding that of the husband’s thumb (which is how I learned that bit of trivia, though second hand). But in some states of this slip-shod union that idiomatic origin story lives on boldly. A fiendish poltergeist in the so called halls of justice. It certainly rattles my chains…


Okay reading the article there was an amendment that says “two year separation as another method” so I’m thinking being apart for 2 years was another grounds for divorce, and that would have kept it from being passed? Now that makes things sound even dumber. It’s not “We believe husbands that beat their wives can still be together,” it’s “You can’t divorce because you lived apart for a long time.”


People think it’s sexist, but… the etymology is likely spurious.



I was a witness at a divorce in Maryland. It was apparent to me that the separation requirement for a no-fault divorce was essentially creating a case of abandonment.


Here’s what should be the list of grounds for divorce:

  1. Do you want a divorce?


Not all states are “no fault” regimes. Everywhere, I think, you can get a divorce if both people agree, but in a number of states a contested divorce would require grounds and a finding by the court. Mississippi’s laws do include “consistent inhumane or cruel treatment” as grounds – which probably covers a lot of domestic violence – although my sense is adding “domestic violence” would have expanded that to make it easier to get a finding from the court. No idea where the line is between “inconsistent” and “consistent” inhumane or cruel treatment, but better to broaden that.


In California, a no-fault state, you only need to ask for a divorce and the court will grant it – there’s a fight over the a lot of stuff, assets, child custody, etc etc., but the fact of the divorce is never in question.


Stop; you’re making too much sense.


But it takes both parties. So if the abuser doesn’t agree, no divorce.


Mississippi has a no-fault divorce law, which allows a divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences.

Mississippi’s also has the following current grounds for divorce:

  1. Natural impotency
  2. Adultery
  3. Being sentenced to any penitentiary and not pardoned before being sent there
  4. Desertion for at least one year
  5. Habitual drunkenness
  6. Habitual and excessive use of opium, morphine or other like drug
  7. Habitual cruel and inhuman treatment
  8. Having mental illness or an intellectual disability at the time of marriage, if the party complaining did not know of that infirmity
  9. Marriage to some other person at the time of the pretended marriage between the parties
  10. Pregnancy of the wife by another person at the time of the marriage, if the husband did not know of the pregnancy
  11. Either party may have a divorce if they are related to each other within the degrees of kindred between whom marriage is prohibited by law
  12. Incurable mental illness


I’m not fluent in legalese but this should cover domestic violance (or so I hope).


Well. . . “domestic violence” is not gender specific, so I guess it’s OK for wives to beat husbands too.

Huh, how is that not “domestic violence”? Do they have a specific definition or is it open to interpretation by a judge?


It should cover chronic abuse but the wording wouldn’t clearly cover someone trying to leave immediately after the first instance of abuse.


One article on this bill stated the following:

According to Doty (the bill’s sponsor), the legislation wouldn’t require a conviction or charge of domestic violence to file for divorce on that ground. The bill states that domestic violence has to be established by clear and convincing evidence (which is a lesser burden of proof than found in criminal cases, which require evidence to be beyond a reasonable doubt).


Mississippi, I stopped right there.


Why? Keep going. You’re bound to hit some place better sooner or later.