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Mississippi Family Law

Mississippi Family Law

Mississippi Family Law: A Comprehensive Overview


Family law governs legal matters concerning families and domestic relationships. It is a broad area of law that encompasses issues such as marriage, divorce, child custody, support, adoption, and domestic violence. Family law varies by state, and in this article, we will explore Mississippi family law.

Mississippi, also known as the Magnolia State, is located in the southern region of the United States. The state has a rich cultural heritage and is known for its hospitality, blues music, and southern cuisine. In this article, we will delve into Mississippi family law and provide you with a comprehensive overview of the legal landscape.

Marriage and Divorce

Marriage is a legal institution that has significant implications for a couple’s legal status. In Mississippi, the legal age for marriage is 21 years old. Minors between the ages of 15 and 17 may marry with the written consent of their parents or guardians, and minors under the age of 15 need a court order to marry. Same-sex marriage has been legal in Mississippi since 2015, following the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Obergefell v. Hodges.

Like in many states, Mississippi is a no-fault divorce state. This means that a person does not need to prove that their spouse is responsible for the breakdown of the marriage to obtain a divorce. Either spouse can file for divorce based on the grounds of “irreconcilable differences.” Mississippi also recognizes fault-based grounds for divorce, including adultery, desertion, habitual drunkenness, and cruel and inhuman treatment.

Child Custody and Support

Child custody disputes can be emotionally draining for all parties involved. In Mississippi, courts use the “best interests of the child” standard to determine custody and visitation arrangements. Several factors are considered in determining the best interests of the child, including the child’s age, physical and mental health, and the wishes of the parents.

Mississippi law recognizes two types of custody: physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody refers to where the child lives, while legal custody refers to the right to make major decisions regarding the child’s upbringing, such as education, healthcare, and religion. The court can award joint or sole custody for both physical and legal custody.

Child support is an essential component of family law. The state of Mississippi has established guidelines for calculating child support payments based on the income of both parents and the number of children involved. In Mississippi, the non-custodial parent is usually responsible for paying child support. Failure to pay child support can result in severe consequences, such as wage garnishment, license suspension, and even imprisonment.


Adoption is another critical area of family law in Mississippi. The adoption process is complex and involves several legal steps. The first step in the adoption process is to terminate the parental rights of the biological parents. Once the biological parents’ rights have been terminated, the adoptive parents can petition the court for adoption.

Mississippi law recognizes several types of adoption, including public and private adoptions, stepparent adoptions, and international adoptions. The state also has an adoption registry that allows people who were adopted or placed for adoption to find each other and share information.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a pervasive problem that affects many families. In Mississippi, domestic violence is taken seriously, and there are legal remedies available to victims of domestic violence. The state has a Domestic Abuse Protection Order (DAPO) that provides protection to victims of domestic violence. A DAPO can prohibit the abuser from contacting the victim, entering the victim’s home or workplace, and possessing firearms.

Mississippi law defines domestic violence broadly to include physical violence, sexual assault, threats of violence, stalking, and emotional abuse. Victims of domestic violence can seek help from law enforcement, non-profit organizations, and victim service providers.


Mississippi family law is complex, and navigating it can be a daunting task. This article has provided a comprehensive overview of the legal landscape in Mississippi concerning marriage, divorce, child custody, support, adoption, and domestic violence. As with any legal matter, it is essential to seek the advice of a qualified attorney who can guide you through the legal process. By understanding the intricacies of Mississippi family law, you can make informed decisions that will impact your family’s future.

Quick Guide to Mississippi Family Laws

Where can I find the majority of Mississippi Family Laws?

You’ll have to visit the annotated code under the outside program of LexisNexis® for a complete listed of Mississippi family laws under the state’s judiciary.  Once you begin searching for Mississippi family law, you’ll want to reference Title 93 Domestic Relations which contains the majority of MS family law.

In this article you’ll find general information about Mississippi family law about marriage requirements, divorce, adoption, child custody, and other commonly accessed areas of family law.  If you are referencing Mississippi family laws for legal help, you are highly advised to consult with a MS family law attorney before proceeding with any settlement process.

Specific Mississippi Family Laws

Some general information about sections of Mississippi family law within Title 93 is listed below:

Chapter 1 Marriage

This chapter of MS family law provides prerequisites for a valid marriage, as well as who cannot marry in the state of Mississippi.  This chapter also contains information on Mississippi family laws for licenses and other contracts, as well as who is legally allowed to solemnize a marriage.

Chapter 5 Divorce and Alimony

This chapter of Mississippi family law is one of the most frequently accessed chapters under Mississippi’s annotated code.  This chapter covers general grounds for divorce, property division, spousal support (alimony), and much more.  Again, if you are regarding this section of Mississippi family law for legal advice, you are highly encouraged to hire an MS family law attorney.

Chapter 17 Adoption

This chapter of Mississippi family law provides general provisions for adoption such as who may adopt a child, information about petitions, financial disclosures, investigative procedures from a child-placing agency, and much more.

Subsection 2 of this chapter under Mississippi family laws provides information about the supplement benefits program, as well as eligibility factors for the benefits program.

Chapter 25 and 27 Child Custody Procedure

These chapters of Mississippi family law provide detailed information about the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, as well as the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act.  For more information about child custody, talk with your MS family law attorney.

How to Search Mississippi Family Law

Consider the follow search techniques while researching Mississippi family laws.  These search techniques will work for this website as well.

1. Stemming- this technique includes adding suffixes onto your search, such as divorces, divorcing, divorced, or more

2. Wildcards- a wildcard allows you to search multiple words using an asterisk, and adopt* will usually bring you to adopted, adoption, adopting, adoptive, adoptable, and more.

3. Missing variables- you can search for a missing variable with a question mark, and wom?n will bring results associated with woman, women, and more

4. Boolean Operators- you should always consider using and, or, and not to limit your searches as well

Of course, searching for a specific term will limit your search and bring you closer to what you’re looking for in MS family law, but if you’re having trouble finding a term, you can use the methods above.