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Mississippi Family Law

A Mississippi Family Law Trial and Miracle on 34th Street

I am embarrassed that I have just watched Miracle on 34th Street for the first time this Christmas. This is especially embarrassing and a little telling about my sense of humor because I have seen Christmas Vacation about a hundred times. There is absolutely no wonder why Miracle on 34th Street has survived for over 60 years. It is a classic, feel-good Christmas story. I had no idea that the climax of the movie played out in a courtroom. The family law attorney in me could not help but think what a great deal could be learned about a family law trial by the cast of characters and the ensuing drama.  Read More

The Truth the Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth

It happens all the time and I can see it coming from a mile away. There will be an uncomfortable pause in our meeting and a client will say- “There is one thing that I have been meaning to tell you…” At that point, something is revealed that I would have ideally been told in the initial meeting.  Read More

Don’t Kick the Ant Bed

When I was a kid, I loved to kick ant beds.  Admittedly even as a reasonably mature adult, when I cut the yard and spot them around my house, sometimes I still kick.  I don’t know why, it serves no real purpose; I know they can bite- but I just do.  My clients like to kick ant beds.  They do things that piss of their spouse for no good reason.  It causes unnecessary hardship for everyone. Read More

If I Could Give You a Magic Wand…

One of my favorite questions in an initial meeting with a potential Mississippi family law client is this: “If I could give you a magic wand and you could waive it and make a wish, what would it be?” I get all kinds of interesting answers. Some are realistic, and some are not.  Read More

Your Kids and the Holidays

Next week is Thanksgiving and I can always expect a few calls from clients that are finding it impossible to work with their spouse to figure out a schedule.  Whether you are living under a child custody order or not, the best advice I can give someone who does not live with their children’s other parent in Mississippi is to be flexible and make the most of the time that you have.   Read More

Should I Call My Mississippi Divorce Attorney After Hours?

This weekend I got a call from a client at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday morning. He is one of my favorites. While the issue meant the world to him, in the grand scheme of his case, it could have waited until Monday. I helped him with his problem, but I admit that I was probably pretty short with him. For about thirty minutes or longer he was on my mind instead of my wife and daughters who share me with dozens of client during the week. It got me thinking about the mental process (or lack thereof) that went on before he dialed my number, so I thought I would share some thoughts about whether calling your Mississippi divorce attorney after hours is a good idea.  Read More

The Storm Before the Calm

There is a period of time before a court gives divorcing parties rules to follow that I like to call the “Storm before the Calm.” This is that time of delirium that people experience when the reality that their life is about to significantly change comes into focus- albeit usually blurred by cycling emotion. It is usually precipitated by someone moving out, finding out that their spouse is engaged in an affair or any other event of a life altering proportion that affects marriage. This is the period of anarchy when people act really stupid and do and say a lot of damaging stuff. The funny thing is that the rules during this time are actually no different than before. Nevertheless, I often get questions like the following:  Read More

Adultery

I was shocked at how common adultery is when I first started practicing law. Adultery does not require proof of sexual intercourse. Adultery can be proven if it is shown that the offending party had the inclination and opportunity to consummate an adulterous relationship. You can use your imagination as to how this can be shown in court. An adulterous inclination may be exposed by either the defendant’s infatuation with a particular person of the opposite sex or a general adulterous nature. Both parts of the test are necessary components. Just because a wife is a flirt and seems to have a promiscuous inclination does not mean that her husband would be entitled to a divorce on the ground of adultery if he cannot prove that she also had the opportunity to establish a physical relationship with someone else. Circumstantial evidence which leads to two or more reasonable explanations of what could have happened is not enough. Read More

Habitual Cruel and Inhuman Conduct

The most commonly pled but most difficult ground for divorce to prove is Cruelty. Habitual cruel and inhuman conduct is a culmination of conduct perpetrated by one spouse against the other over a period of time that makes the marital relationship insufferable to the innocent spouse and which endangers life, limb, health or safety or which creates a reasonable belief that one is in danger, rendering the relationship unsafe for the party seeking relief. One can also prove cruelty by showing the conduct of the offending spouse is so unnatural and infamous that it makes the marriage revolting to the point that it is impossible to discharge the duties of the marriage thus destroying the basis for its continuance.  Read More

Fault

The more aggressive way that one can get a divorce is if you or your spouse has a reason. Sometimes I have no choice but to encourage a client to proceed on a contested basis if there are pressing financial circumstances, even if it be an audible such as a request for separate maintenance or partition of real estate, but more on that another time.  For a divorce to be granted on a fault basis there must be a hearing in open court.  Read More

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