Work With Our Divorce Lawyers in Mendenhall and Get the Support You Need
Filing for divorce marks the end of your marriage and the start of a new chapter of both your life and that of your children. Because you will be moving from one household to two, you can expect a great deal to change. The decisions you make today will impact you for years to come. Issues like co-parenting, child support, and spousal maintenance, as well as the division of your assets and debts, require significant consideration.
Just thinking about these important decisions can be overwhelming. Understanding how to make them, as well as recognizing possible ramifications, can be complicated. The Ringer, Lingold & Spencer team in Mendenhall, can guide you through every step of the divorce process, ensuring you understand exactly what to expect.
Our Mendenhall divorce attorneys will help with every stage of the divorce process. Contact us at (601) 845-5050 to schedule a free consultation.
Marriage in Mississippi entails entering into a legal contract with your spouse that is governed by Mississippi divorce laws. Of course, you can end your marriage, but you must go through the proper legal channels. Among other things, this process involves you and your spouse (or the court if you cannot agree) making decisions regarding the following issues:
- Parenting – including time-sharing and responsibility for decision-making regarding education, medical care, and other important areas
- Child support – how you and your spouse will ensure that 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
- Alimony: if appropriate.
Let us guide you as you work through all of these issues and prepare to move forward.
What Our Divorce Attorneys in Mendenhall Can Do For You
The Value of Professional Legal Assistance
Do I really need to hire a Mendenhall divorce attorney? You would be surprised how often this question is raised. Considering that the decisions made in the divorce process will serve as a blueprint for your future, engaging an experienced attorney is wise.
Our team will help you complete and file all required paperwork, including the Bill of Complaint for a Divorce. We will also guide you through all of the important decisions you need to make regarding your family, carefully explaining what your choices will mean for you, your ex, and your children.
At all times, we will have your best interests at heart. Your goals are our goals, and we will work tirelessly to achieve them. As such, we place a high value on understanding your specific situation. By listening carefully to your story and asking thoughtful questions, we can build a case that supports your needs. Our experienced professionals will be ready for any issues that may arise.
Addressing Important Issues
Your Mendenhall divorce attorneys can help with every aspect of your case. Below we have shared some of the areas on which we can provide advice and counsel.
Division of Property
In Mississippi, the allocation of a divorcing couple’s assets and debts follows the theory of “equitable distribution,” which first requires both to be classified as either marital or separate.
Assets and debts classified as marital will be divided equitably between the spouses, while those classified as separate will not be subject to division. In this case, “equitable” does not mean equal; instead, it means whatever the court determines is fair.
Creating a full list of assets and debts and developing a strategy to protect your best interests takes experience and knowledge of Mississippi laws. Turn to our divorce lawyers in Mendenhall to guide you through the process. Call us for help today at (601) 845-5050.
Alimony is the term assigned to the payments made by one spouse for the support of the other after a divorce. You should understand that alimony is not a right; it is a remedy determined and ordered by the court after analyzing all the facts of the marriage.
The existence of divorce in and of itself does not automatically trigger a requirement for alimony.
Should alimony be called for In Mendenhall, the options are considerable. For example, it can be:
- awarded for a limited number of years or for the spouse’s lifetime
- paid weekly, monthly, or in a lump sum
- ordered for a temporary period of time, if the court deems it necessary, while the divorce is pending.
The court is responsible for determining the need for and amount of alimony. We will help to prove your needs and will ensure the court has all relevant information in order to make informed decisions.
Determining child custody in Mississippi is an involved and important process, and it is divided into two categories: physical and legal.
Physical custody identifies the parent with whom the child will live, while legal custody determines which parent will have the legal authority to make decisions regarding care, religious upbringing, education, and other matters.
In some cases, 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.
While courts generally favor arrangements where the children spend time with each parent, this is not always possible. In order 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
- The economic status of the parents
- Drug and alcohol abuse
- Physical or emotional abuse.
It is important to also recognize that your social media posts can impact the court’s decisions.
Turn to our Mendenhall child custody lawyer to ensure you protect the interests of you and your children.
Child Support Calculations
The financial well-being of children in divorce is important. Simply because one parent does not reside with their child does not absolve them from contributing financially toward their care.
In Mississippi, child support is often determined in conjunction with child custody.
Child support is a payment from one parent to the other, used to meet the expenses of their dependent/minor children. This payment is made as part of a court order and can be enforced through the court.
While both parents have a legal duty to support their children, the noncustodial parent (the one spending less than half the time with the children) pays child support to the custodial parent (the one with whom the children live the majority of the time). Once ordered, child support must be paid for a child until they turn 21 or become legally emancipated before the age of 21.
Divorce in Mendenhall, MS: Frequently Asked Questions
The changes that accompany divorce are considerable, and the process is often complex. It is not surprising that those in this position have a host of questions. While the answers to many depend upon the specifics of a couple or family’s situation, there are a number of concerns that can be addressed in a more general manner. Below, we have shared some of those which we hear most often, along with our responses.
My spouse and I have an amicable relationship even though we are divorcing. Can we use the same Mendenhall divorce lawyer?
Each spouse should engage their own attorney. You want to work with someone who is committed to you and your best interests. Even those couples who agree on almost everything find areas to dispute. If you use the lawyer your spouse employs, that professional will be focused on his/her client and their wishes, not yours.
Is Mississippi a “no-fault” divorce state?
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 fault-based grounds for divorce in Mississippi.
Can we finalize our divorce first, and then address other issues like child custody and alimony?
No, all of these issues must be determined and finalized in your divorce agreement prior to its being finalized.
How long do we have to live in Mississippi to file for divorce in the state?
Either you or your spouse must be a resident of the state for at least 6 months in order to file for divorce.
Can child support and alimony decisions be modified?
Yes, the state of Mississippi recognizes that the circumstances under which you divorce today can change considerably over time. Thus, modifications to child and spousal support are possible. That said, you must be able to prove a substantial change in circumstances (significant changes in income, change in child’s needs, etc.) in order for it to be approved.
Why Ringer, Lingold & Spencer?
A Focus on Personalized Service
Our Mendenhall divorce lawyers will meet with you to gain a complete understanding of your case. We want to know your current situation as well as your hopes for the future. Based on the information you share, we will provide advice and counsel regarding your legal rights, develop a strategy for your divorce, participate in all meetings, and represent you in court.
We understand how divorce settlements are structured and can provide information regarding what you can expect. Basically, we will support you throughout the entire process.
Our Mendenhall team understands and appreciates that divorce is both emotional and stressful. We have a reputation for not only providing quality legal representation but also for serving as a calming force throughout what is clearly a difficult transition.
Experienced Legal Counsel
At Ringer, Lingold & Spencer, we have significant legal experience assisting Mississippians with dissolving their marriages. We know the laws and have worked extensively in the Mendenhall courts.
We can leverage our experience and knowledge on your behalf, helping to protect your future. If you are contemplating divorce, or have already decided on getting a divorce in Mendenhall, consider contacting us. Qualified legal representation is a critical component of your future. There is simply too much at stake for you to try to handle this alone.
We are Mississippi Proud, with winning results. We provide faithful service to our clients, regardless of the challenges they face. Reach out to us today at (601) 845-5050 for a consultation.
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