What Are the Fault Grounds for Divorce in Mississippi?

Many divorcing spouses want nothing more than a quick end to their relationships, but those who can prove a cause (a “fault”) for the end of their marriage could receive better outcomes. In this blog post, our qualified Mississippi family law team explores the myriad legal reasons for fault-based divorces in the state.

Fault-Based Divorces

Across the country, any spouse can split from their partner by filing a no-fault divorce. In a no-fault divorce, neither party is held responsible for causing the split. No-fault divorces are a viable amicable option, and fault-based divorces are often more contentious.

A fault-based divorce is when a spouse divorces their partner on one of 12 legal grounds. All states that offer fault-based divorces have their own statutes for what constitutes a fault-based divorce, and Mississippi is no different.

Mississippi Grounds for Fault-Based Divorces

The 12 grounds for a Mississippi fault-based divorce are:

  • Natural and incurable impotence;
  • Adultery;
  • A stay in a prison for any duration of time;
  • Willful, continued, and obstinate desertion for at least 12 months;
  • Habitual drunkenness;
  • Habitual and excessive use of opium, morphine, or similar drugs;
  • Continual cruel and inhuman treatment, including domestic spousal abuse;
  • Hidden mental illnesses or intellectual disabilities at the time of marriage;
  • Bigamy;
  • Husband is unaware of the wife being pregnant by another person at the time of the marriage;
  • Degree of kindred prohibited by law; and
  • Incurable mental illness.

To understand some of the more complicated fault grounds a bit further:

Natural & Incurable Impotence in a Mississippi Divorce

If someone is unable to procreate in unchangeable circumstances, their spouse may file for a fault-based divorce. The impotence must be natural, and the problem must exist at the start of the marriage.

Incurable Mental Illness

Mississippi’s definition of an incurable mental illness is more concerned with the outcome of the disease rather than the disease itself.

Mississippi law considers someone to have an incurable mental illness for a fault-based divorce as someone institutionalized for three years before the official divorce filing.


If you’re considering a fault-based divorce in Mississippi, it’s essential to have an advocate on your side that can represent your needs through the legal proceedings and negotiations. The Law Offices of Rusty Williard are here to help. Call (601) 824-9797 to learn more and schedule a free consultation.