Our Divorce Lawyers in Collins, MS, Can Get You Through the Process
When contemplating divorce, there is so much that you need to consider. Your life will be different. Just thinking about those changes can seem overwhelming — and then, there are all the decisions you need to make. Among the most important are:
- Whether you will co-parent and how
- Calculating child support and whether there will be spousal maintenance
- Figuring out how to divide your assets and debts.
Coping with the changes and making these decisions can at times seem impossible. This is where help from our experienced divorce lawyers in Collins, MS, can be a huge benefit.
At Ringer, Lingold & Spencer, we help our clients navigate the Mississippi divorce process successfully and with the best possible outcome for themselves, their families, and their future. Call us today at (601) 845-5050 to schedule a free consultation with our Collins divorce attorneys.
When you marry in Mississippi, you enter into a legal contract with your spouse that is governed by Mississippi divorce laws. If you want to end that contract, it has to be done through a legal process. Among other things, this process involves you and your spouse (or the court, if you cannot agree) making decisions regarding the following issues:
- Parenting your children – including time-sharing and responsibility for making decisions for your children about education, medical care, and other important aspects of their lives
- Child support – how you and your spouse will make sure your children have what they need, from clothing to food, and from health care to haircuts
- Dividing assets and debts – including pensions and retirement accounts
- Payment of alimony, if appropriate.
If you and your spouse can resolve these issues on your own, the outcome will be far better than the time, energy, expense, and emotional cost of having a trial to decide your and your family’s future.
How Our Divorce Attorneys in Collins Can Help
In Mississippi, the divorce process starts when our divorce attorneys in Collins file a Bill of Complaint for Divorce and when a judge issues a Final Judgment of Divorce that ends the marriage, makes provisions for parenting, allocates assets and debts, and provides for spousal support in the form of alimony.
Mississippi is a “no-fault” divorce state. This means that married couples can file for divorce simply based on irreconcilable differences, as long as it is agreed upon by both spouses.
However, if the spouse who was sued (the defendant) doesn’t want a divorce, the spouse filing the complaint (the plaintiff) must claim and prove at least one of the following fault-based grounds for divorce in Mississippi:
- Natural impotence
- Willful desertion
- Habitual drunkenness
- Habitual drug use
- Habitual cruel and inhuman treatment
- Insanity or idiocy
- Spouse is pregnant by another person
- The spouses are related to each other (incest)
- Incurable insanity.
If you file an at-fault divorce, you have the plaintiff’s burden of proof. If you do not succeed, you will not get a divorce. To improve your chances, you need to document the problem, have witnesses, and produce credible evidence.
Fortunately, with the help of an experienced Collins divorce attorney from Ringer, Lingold & Spencer, you can build credible evidence that will support your complaint for divorce before it is even filed.
What is Alimony and How Does it Work in Divorce Cases?
Alimony, also known as spousal support, is a financial payment made from one ex-spouse to another after divorce. The purpose of alimony is to help the receiving spouse maintain their standard of living after divorce, while they transition back into the workforce or become financially independent. Alimony can be paid in lump sum payments or monthly installments, and is typically paid until the receiving spouse remarries or dies.
Not everyone is granted alimony. There are some factors that could weigh against it, e.g., the spouse seeking alimony may be on drugs or have a bad reputation for some form of abuse, either physical or mental. Every claim is different and the judge considers everything from all angles. In order to determine whether alimony will be awarded, courts will look at several factors including:
- Length of the marriage
- Standard of living during the marriage
- Earning potential of each spouse
- The age and health of each spouse
- The ability of the paying spouse to support themselves while making alimony payments.
If you are going through a divorce and think you may be entitled to alimony, it is important to speak with an experienced Collins divorce attorney who can help you understand your rights and options.
What If There is a Business or Inheritance Involved?
If you are divorcing and there is a business or inheritance involved, there are some special considerations that need to be taken into account. An experienced divorce attorney will be able to help you navigate these waters and protect your interests.
First, it’s important to understand that in many states, businesses and inheritances are considered marital property. This means that they are subject to division in a divorce. If you owned the business or inherited the property before the marriage, it may still be considered marital property if its value has increased during the marriage.
An experienced Collins divorce attorney can help you determine whether or not your business or inheritance is subject to division in a divorce. Most will go by what is stated in the Will. If there is no will, then they will fight it out in court. They can also help you negotiate a fair settlement with your spouse.
What Happens to The Kids if Drugs are Involved?
When drugs or criminal activity is involved in a divorce, it can be difficult to determine what will happen to the kids. In some cases, the parents may be able to work out an agreement on their own. However, if they are unable to do so, the court will likely get involved.
The first step that the attorney will take is to prove negligence on the part of the other parent. This can be difficult to do, but it is necessary in order to win custody of the children. If the attorney is successful in proving negligence, the next step will be to determine what is in the best interests of the children.
In most cases, the court will order drug testing for both parents. The results of these tests will be used to help make a decision about custody. If one parent tests positive for drugs, it is likely that they will not be able to win custody of the children. However, if both parents test positive, the court may award joint custody.
How Do Judges Make Custody Decisions in a Collins Divorce?
Child custody in Mississippi is broken down into two important categories:
- Physical custody
- Legal custody
Physical custody determines which parent the children will live with. Legal custody, on the other hand, determines which parent will have the legal authority to make major decisions for the children concerning healthcare, religious upbringing, education, and other matters.
One parent may be granted primary or sole legal custody. That parent then makes major decisions for the children’s welfare. However, if the parents are both granted the right to make these decisions together, they are said to share joint legal custody.
When parents cannot agree on custody and take their dispute to court, a judge must make the decision for them. In this regard, courts generally favor arrangements where the children spend time with each parent.
To determine which parent should obtain custody (both physical and legal), a court will apply a “best interests of the child” standard. This means that the court will factor in things like:
- The wishes of the parties and the child
- The health of the parents, and
- The economic status of the parents.
The court will also consider negative factors, such as any history of drug and alcohol abuse or violence on the part of either parent.
Our team at Ringer, Lingold & Spencer will help prepare you for the potential outcome of the court’s custody decision and can position you to have the best possible custody agreement. Turn to our Collins divorce lawyer to protect the interests of you and your children.
Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce in Collins, MS
What is the residency requirement for divorce in Mississippi?
One of the parties to the divorce must have been living in Mississippi for at least six months before filing for the divorce.
Is there a waiting period for a divorce in Mississippi?
Yes. There is a mandatory waiting period for divorce based on irreconcilable differences of 60 days before the divorce can be finalized.
Can child support be modified?
Yes. Like alimony, the amount of child support ordered to be paid can be modified up or down. However, there must be a substantial change in circumstances.
Can parents make their own child support arrangements?
Yes. Parents can negotiate and agree on child support arrangements, then present the agreement in court. A couple’s agreed-upon child support arrangements will not be enforceable until they have been approved by a judge and entered as a court order.
What does a divorce lawyer in Collins do?
After evaluating your case, our Collins divorce lawyers will advise you on your legal rights, represent you in court proceedings, accompany you to mediation or collaborative divorce meetings, advise you with regard to settlement options, draft any legal documents needed for your divorce, and guide you through the divorce process from start to finish.
Why Choose Ringer, Lingold & Spencer to Represent You in Your Collins Divorce
At Ringer, Lingold & Spencer, we assist Mississippians with dissolving their marriage, so they can begin a new life for themselves and their children. If you are contemplating divorce, or have already decided on getting divorced in Collins, you will benefit greatly from the help of a skilled legal professional, who can effectively negotiate on your behalf and argue your case in court. There is simply too much at stake for you to try to handle this alone.
You can trust our Collins divorce lawyers to be truthful with you, fight aggressively to protect your rights, and obtain winning results for you.
We provide faithful service to our clients, no matter the challenges they face. Call us at (601) 845-5050 for a consultation today. We are dedicated to clients in the Collins area and believe in supporting our community when people are going through this difficult transition. Ringer, Lingold & Spencer. Live Here. Work Here. Love Here.