"No-fault" divorce describes any divorce where the spouse asking for a divorce does not have to prove that the other spouse did something wrong. All states allow no-fault divorces, with different requirements depending on the state.
In Mississippi, to get a no-fault divorce, both spouses must simply declare that the couple cannot get along due to irreconcilable differences.
In some states (not Mississippi), the couple must live apart for a period of months or years before they can obtain a no-fault divorce.
A fault divorce may be granted when the required grounds are present and at least one spouse asks that the divorce be granted on the grounds of fault.
The traditional fault grounds in Mississippi are:
- Habitiual cruelty and inhuman treatment by inflicting unnecessary emotional or physical pain (this is the most frequently used ground in claims of divorce);
- Adultery, unless committed by collusion of the parties for obtaining a divorce or unless the parties cohabitated after knowledge of the adultery;
- Wilfull, continued and obstinate desertion for one year;
- Sentenced to the penitentiary, and not pardoned before being sent there;
- Habitual drunkenness;
- Habitiual and excessive use of opium, morphine or other like drug;
- Natural impotency;
- Mental illness or intellectual disability at the time of the marriage unknown to the other party;
- Marriage to another person at the time of the purported marriage between the parties;
- Pregnancy of the wife by another person at the time of the marriage, if the husband did not know of the pregnancy;
- Relation of the parties to each other within the degrees of kindred between whom marriage is prohibited by law; and
- Incurable mental illness.
Why choose a fault divorce? Sometimes the other spouse doesn't want to agree to the divorce, or won't agree on the terms desired for the Property Settlement/Child Custody/Support Agreement.