Documenting Infidelity for a Mississippi Divorce

At The Law Offices of Rusty Williard, we understand that divorce is an incredibly emotional and challenging experience. When infidelity is involved, the feelings of betrayal and heartbreak can be overwhelming. If you’re considering a divorce due to infidelity, it’s important to understand how Mississippi divorce laws handle these situations and the steps you can take to protect your interests.

Our family law team is here to guide you through every step of the process with the personal attention and empathy your divorce deserves. If you need an experienced Mississippi divorce attorney, call The Law Offices of Rusty Williard today.

Grounds for Divorce in Mississippi

Mississippi is a fault-based divorce state, meaning if your spouse won’t agree to the divorce, you must prove they are at fault for the breakdown of your marriage. The state recognizes several “fault grounds,” including cruel or inhuman treatment, desertion, habitual drunkenness, and, of course, adultery.

Cruel or inhuman treatment involves physical or mental cruelty that makes it unsafe or unbearable to live together. Desertion means proving your spouse willfully abandoned you for a period of at least one year. Habitual drunkenness involves showing how your spouse’s excessive drug or alcohol use has harmed you and your marriage.

If you can prove adultery, it can significantly impact the outcome of your divorce, particularly in areas like spousal support, property division, and child custody. Mississippi courts take infidelity seriously and will consider it when making their decisions. Therefore, gathering and presenting strong evidence is incredibly important to your case.

Acceptable Forms of Evidence When Proving Infidelity in a Mississippi Divorce

When documenting infidelity in a Mississippi divorce, certain types of evidence are generally more compelling to a judge and can significantly strengthen your case. Presenting clear and convincing evidence can make it easier to prove your claims and achieve the results you want. The most commonly accepted forms of evidence are:

  • Text Messages and Emails: Digital communications between your spouse and their lover can be crucial evidence. Screenshots of messages that indicate a romantic or sexual relationship can be very compelling. It’s important to preserve these messages carefully and avoid tampering with them. The authenticity will need to be verified during the legal proceedings.
  • Photographs and Videos: Pictures of your spouse engaging in intimate activities with another person are powerful evidence. This can include photos or videos taken by private investigators or gathered through other legitimate means. Ensure these recordings are obtained legally to avoid any complications during the trial.
  • Witness Testimony: Friends, family members, or private investigators who have witnessed the infidelity can provide testimony. Their statements can help corroborate your claims. The witnesses should be prepared to testify in court and provide detailed accounts of what they saw.
  • Financial Records: Unexplained expenses, such as hotel bills, gifts, or travel expenses, can point to an affair. Bank statements and credit card records can be used to prove your case. Collecting these records can be challenging, however, so working with an experienced Mississippi divorce attorney can help you receive the necessary subpoenas.
  • Social Media Activity: Posts, messages, or photos on social media platforms can sometimes reveal an ongoing affair. These need to be collected carefully to ensure they remain admissible in court. Screenshots and time stamps can help establish the timeline and prove your case.

The Legal Implications of Infidelity

  • Spousal Support: In Mississippi, the court considers who was at fault for the divorce when determining spousal support. Adultery can significantly impact both the amount and duration of alimony. If you can prove your spouse was unfaithful, it might lead to a more favorable spousal support arrangement for you. Also, the court may reduce or deny alimony to a spouse found guilty of infidelity.
  • Child Custody: While Mississippi courts primarily focus on the best interests of the child when making custody decisions, a parent’s infidelity can be a factor if it affects their ability to provide a stable environment for the child. Evidence of infidelity might influence the court’s view of a parent’s character and fitness. However, it’s important to note that infidelity alone does not automatically disqualify a parent from gaining custody or visitation rights.
  • Division of Property: Although Mississippi follows an equitable distribution model for dividing marital property, the court may consider adultery when determining a fair division. Infidelity can influence the division of assets and debts, and possibly favor the spouse who was faithful.

The Importance of Hiring a Family Law Attorney

Navigating a divorce involving infidelity is complex and emotionally taxing. Having an experienced family law attorney by your side can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case and your overall well-being. Here’s how our dedicated divorce attorney can help:

  • Legal Expertise: Our family law attorney understands the ins and outs of Mississippi divorce laws, especially when it comes to proving infidelity. He can help you gather necessary evidence like text messages, financial records, and witness statements and make sure it’s strong enough to use in court.
  • Objective Support: Divorces involving infidelity are incredibly emotional. We can provide the objective support and guidance you need to make clear-headed decisions, instead of acting out of anger or hurt. We can help you stay focused on important issues like fair spousal support or custody arrangements.
  • Protecting Your Interests: A family law attorney makes sure your rights and interests are protected throughout the divorce process. We negotiate for fair spousal support, an equal division of assets, and child custody arrangements that protect your child’s best interests. We make sure you aren’t taken advantage of during negotiations or court proceedings.

Taking the Next Steps in Your Mississippi Divorce

At The Law Offices of Rusty Williard, we are committed to offering compassionate and professional legal help to clients across Mississippi, including Rankin, Madison, and Hinds Counties. We provide the personal attention and support of a small-town law office with the professionalism and confidence of a big-city legal firm.

Call us today at (601) 824-9797 to schedule a consultation, and let us help you navigate this challenging time with compassion and care.