Who Gets The House In A Divorce In Mississippi: 10 Factors

Divorce proceedings are often fraught with emotional turmoil and difficult decisions, including “Who gets the house?”. Especially in Mississippi, this question doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all answer. It’s determined by several factors, all rooted in the state’s specific laws around marital property distribution. This blog post aims to shed light on these laws and provide a comprehensive understanding of the factors that influence who gets the house in a divorce in Mississippi.

who gets the house in a divorce in mississippi

Details Mississippi Marital Property Division Laws in Divorce

Who gets the marital residence in a Mississippi divorce depends on having the name on the property title. That means, whose name is on the house title, he/she will get the house. But if both parties names are present on the property title, then the court may decide to divide the marital home fairly and equitably between them.

However, it is worth noting that “fair and equitable” does not necessarily mean equal distribution. The court considers various factors to determine the fairest solution, which may include the duration of the marriage, each party’s financial contribution, and any prenuptial agreements.

If only one party’s name is on the property title, they will most likely keep the home in case of a divorce unless they agree to give it up or the court determines it to be unreasonable. In cases where both parties are interested in keeping the house, they may decide to sell it and divide the proceeds, or one may buy out the other’s share of the property.

If the court decides to split the house in two physically, it may be an adequate solution for separate houses or duplexes; however, this option may not be suitable for larger properties, especially if it has irreplaceable features like a pool or a garage. In such cases, the court may sell the house and divide the proceeds between both parties.

Mississippi is an “equitable distribution” state. This means that marital property is divided “fairly and equitably” rather than equally if the couple cannot reach an agreement during the divorce proceedings. Therefore, the court will consider various factors to determine how the marital property will be divided, including the distribution of any jointly-owned homes or properties.

When determining who gets the house in a divorce, the court will first identify what is marital property and what is separate. Then, the court will divide the marital property equally, but not equally. This means that the division is based on what is fair and just, considering factors such as each spouse’s contribution to marital property, the economic circumstances of each spouse, the value of each spouse’s separate property, tax consequences, and the needs of any minor children.

For example, suppose one spouse was the primary breadwinner and the other primarily cared for the home and children. In that case, the court might award the house to the spouse who took care of the home and children, even if that spouse didn’t financially contribute to the house purchase. This decision would be made in consideration of the needs of the children and the economic circumstances of the spouses.

The court may also order that the house be sold and the proceeds to be equally split. In some cases, if both spouses agree, one spouse can buy out the other’s share of the house instead of selling.

What Is considered marital property in mississippi?

In Mississippi, marital property is typically defined as any assets or debts accumulated during the marriage. This includes many items such as the family home, cars, furniture, savings accounts, and debts. For instance, if a couple purchases a house after marriage, that house is usually considered marital property.

However, it’s important to note that not all property acquired during a marriage is necessarily considered marital property. For example, any gifts or inheritances given specifically to one spouse and not the other, even if received during the marriage, are usually considered separate property. Similarly, any property one spouse brought into the marriage and kept separate throughout can also be considered separate property. 

What Is considered separate property in mississippi?

In Mississippi, separate property is any property owned by one spouse before the marriage, acquired as a gift or inheritance (just for that one spouse), or earned after separation. This includes assets such as bank accounts, investments, and real estate purchased prior to the marriage. It’s important to note that in some cases, even if an asset was initially considered separate before the marriage, it may be classified as marital property if both spouses have equally contributed to its growth and maintenance over the years.

In addition to this, certain other types of legal agreements such as prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements can also influence what is considered separate property in Mississippi. In these cases, any assets listed in the agreement are usually considered separate property.

Do you want to know who gets the house in a divorce in general? The below discussion of LJ Law Chamber is essential to watch:

Factors the Courts Take Into Account When Dividing Marital Assets in Mississippi:

In Mississippi, as in most states, courts consider various factors when dividing marital assets during a divorce. These factors determine an equitable distribution of property, which might not necessarily mean an equal 50/50 split but rather a fair division based on the case’s specific circumstances. While the exact factors can vary, here are some common considerations that courts in Mississippi may take into account:

  • Contributions to the marriage: Courts assess financial and non-financial contributions to the marriage. This includes financial support, homemaking, child-rearing, and other contributions that helped build the marital assets.
  • Duration of the marriage: The length of the marriage can influence how assets are divided. Longer marriages might result in a more even distribution, while shorter marriages might lead to a different approach.
  • Financial situation: Each spouse’s financial status and earning capacities are considered. Courts evaluate income, earning potential, and whether one spouse sacrificed their career for the family’s sake.
  • Age and health: The age and health of both spouses are important. Courts might consider the ability of each spouse to earn income and manage their financial affairs independently.
  • Debts and Liabilities: Marital debts and liabilities are also divided. The court will look at who incurred the debts and the purpose behind them.
  • Property ownership: Courts analyze the ownership and acquisition of property before and during the marriage. Separate property, acquired before the marriage, might be treated differently from marital property.
  • Custody and child support: If child custody is involved, the court considers the custodial arrangement and the financial responsibilities of each parent in relation to child support.
  • Contribution to asset accumulation: The extent to which each spouse contributed to accumulating marital assets can influence the distribution. Direct and indirect contributions are considered.
  • Waste or dissipation: If one spouse has recklessly spent marital assets, the court might adjust the distribution to account for this.
  • Tax consequences: Courts might consider the tax implications of asset distribution, especially for high-value assets.
  • Any agreements: If the spouses have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement outlining how assets should be divided, the court will generally honor that agreement, assuming it’s fair and legally valid.

Every divorce case is unique, and the court’s decision will depend on the specific circumstances of the marriage and the assets involved. Consulting with an experienced family law attorney in Mississippi is highly recommended to understand how these factors might apply to your situation and to navigate the divorce process effectively.

FAQs on Who Gets the House In a Divorce in Mississippi

What are the rules for divorce in Mississippi?

In Mississippi, the process for divorce is governed by state law and involves a series of steps that must be followed to obtain a finalized divorce. To file for divorce in Mississippi, one or both parties must have been domiciled in the state for at least six months prior to filing.

A Petitioner must also prove grounds for divorce, such as adultery (like the girlfriend is pregnant before the divorce is finalized), desertion, or irreconcilable differences. The couple then must submit an Affidavit of Irretrievable Breakdown to verify they cannot be reconciled.

Finally, once all documentation has been submitted to the court and approved, the couple will receive their final divorce decree. Child custody and support are usually decided between both parties before the ultimately finalized decision.

Is Mississippi a 50/50 state in divorce?

No, Mississippi is not a 50/50 state. Mississippi is one of a few states in America to have an “equitable distribution” of marital assets after a divorce. This means that neither spouse is favored financially during the divorce and that each spouse may receive half of the marital estate. This applies to both estates that can agree and those that must go through litigation.

However, when going through a divorce, many factors can play into how assets are distributed, such as the length of the marriage, household income, and separate assets acquired before marriage. As such, Mississippi couples may not always end up with exactly a 50/50 split of their marital assets. Ultimately, it all comes down to the case’s specifics and what state law dictates.

What is the wife entitled to in a divorce in Mississippi?

In Mississippi, courts are usually tasked with assigning equitable distribution of property when determining the assets that each spouse is entitled to in a divorce. Equity seeks to ensure that each party receives the same proportional value of marital assets while accounting for a variety of factors, such as contribution to acquiring marital property and other economic circumstances.

The court might also consider alimony or spousal support, which takes into account the needs as well as the financial capabilities of both parties. In Mississippi, either party can request alimony during the divorce proceedings if they feel it is necessary due to a disparity in income between spouses or hardships resulting from extended separations or unemployment.

Additionally, child custody is typically assured to one parent while the other may be liable for child support payments depending on the individual situation and both agreement and court judgment.

Regardless of extenuating circumstances, divorcing couples in Mississippi are encouraged to make every effort toward a mutual agreement on all aspects involved in the divorce process if possible.

How long do you have to be separated before divorce in Mississippi?

In Mississippi, couples must be legally separated for at least 60 days before filing for divorce. During this time period, the couple must live separately from one another and may not cohabitate in any way. Furthermore, the couple must also settle all issues related to division of marital property, child support payments, alimony, and other matters related to their divorce before officially filing for divorce.

Once the petition has been filed, the courts will then decide the division of marital property and other related matters. It is important to note that due to Mississippi’s “no-fault” divorce policy, neither spouse needs to prove fault in order to get a divorce. As such, one spouse can file for divorce without the other’s consent and without having to state any specific grounds.

In the end, divorces in Mississippi are relatively straightforward and uncontested, resulting in a quick and efficient resolution of all divorce-related matters. To get the most from your divorce, it is important to have an experienced lawyer on your side to help you understand all the implications of your situation and ensure that you come out on top. 

How long do you have to be married in Mississippi to get alimony?

In Mississippi, there are no set minimums for the length of a marriage to be eligible for alimony. Courts will consider both parties’ earning capacity, circumstances and needs when deciding whether or not to award alimony.

Generally speaking, couples who have been married for more than 10 years are more likely to be eligible to receive alimony payments from their soon-to-be ex-spouse. Additionally, alimony may be awarded for a time period that is proportional to the length of the marriage.

It is important to note that Mississippi courts can also award short-term or rehabilitative alimony which is intended to help one spouse adjust financially after the divorce while they look for employment or gain education and training that would allow them to become financially independent. This type of alimony will typically only last for one or two years and can help ease the transition during a difficult time. 

Final Words:

The steps taken to divide a house between two spouses in divorce vary depending on their individual circumstances and the laws of their state. Suppose both parties cannot agree on how the house should be divided. In that case, the court will decide based on factors such as each party’s contribution to the marriage and any applicable prenuptial agreements. Ultimately, the court’s goal is to ensure that both parties are treated fairly and equitably.

About Shakir Ahmed

Head of the editorial team. I hold a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) from UoL. Written hundreds of articles on divorce, child custody, employment and other human rights law topics for blogs and websites worldwide. Worked 6 years as a relationship development trainer. For any communication regarding any legal matter, please feel free to email me at shakir@lawyersnlaws.com

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