Simpson Law Office, PLLC

Family Law

At Simpson Law Office, PLLC, we can help with a wide variety of family law matters, such as:

Divorce:  There are two types of divorce in Mississippi.

           1)  Fault Based:  A fault based divorce requires that one party prove that he or she is entitled to a divorce because
                                     their spouse has committed one or more of several fault based grounds for divorce.  Common fault
                                     grounds include adultery, desertion for one year or longer, being sentenced to the penitentiary, habitual
                                     cruel and inhumane treatment, habitual drunkenness, and habitual and excessive use of opium, morphine
                                     or other like drug.  A fault based divorce requires the defendant be served with a summons and a
                                     copy of the Complaint for Divorce.  After service is made, the defendant has 30 days to respond by filing
                                     an Answer with the Court.  A fault based divorce does not require the consent of the defendant.

           2)  Irreconcilable Differences:  Also called a no fault divorce, an irreconcilable differences divorce works differently than
                                    fault based divorce described above.  Here, the parties agree that they want to be divorced.  They may also
                                    agree on child custody, child support, visitation, and the division of marital property.  If they agree on all of
                                    those issues, their agreement is put into writing, signed by both sides, and filed with the Court.  If the Judge
                                    finds the agreement to be fair and reasonable, an order will be entered making the divorce final and binding both  
                                    parties to the terms of their agreement.  If the parties agree to be divorced, but cannot agree on or more of the
                                    above issues, it is possible to let the Court decide.

Child Custody:  There are two parts of child custody, legal and physical.

          1)  Legal Custody:   Legal custody is the right to act on behalf of the child in certain circumstances such as enrolling the
                                  child in school, or consenting to medical treatment.

          2)  Physical Custody:  Physical custody is where the child will live the majority of the time.

          Custody arrangements can be joint, meaning that both parents share legal and/or physical custody, or one party may be awarded
          primary legal and/or physical custody.   In cases where custody is contested between the parties, the Court will decide which
          parent should have custody based upon the best interests of the child.

Visitation:   Visitation is usually awarded to the parent that is not awarded primary physical custody. The typical visitation schedule
           provides that the non-custodial parent will have the child on alternate weekends and holidays, some period of time on special     
           days such as the child's birthday or Mother's/Father's Day, and some period of extended visitation during the summer when
           the child is not in school.  In some situations, the typical visitation schedule may not work for a variety of reasons.  In those
           situations, the Court will award visitation appropriate to the circumstances of the case.

          Grandparents may sue for visitation rights in certain circumstances as well.

Child Support:  Child support is money paid by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent to cover some of the child's needs.
           In most cases, the amount of child support is determined by the Court based on a percentage of the non-custodial parent's income.
           Failure to pay child support pursuant to a court order is punishable as contempt of court, and can result in incarceration,
           license suspension, adverse credit reporting,  and attorney fees.


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