2005 Regular Session
To: Judiciary, Division A
By: Senator(s) Williamson
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 93-5-2, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE GROUNDS FOR AN IRRECONCILABLE DIFFERENCES DIVORCE; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 93-5-2, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
93-5-2. (1) Divorce from the bonds of matrimony may be granted on the ground of irreconcilable differences, * * * upon the single application of either the husband and wife or a complaint where the defendant has been * * * served with process or where the defendant has entered an appearance by written waiver of process.
(2) If the parties provide by written agreement for the custody and maintenance of any children of that marriage and for the settlement of any property rights between the parties and the court finds that such provisions are adequate and sufficient, the agreement may be incorporated in the judgment, and such judgment may be modified as other judgments for divorce.
(3) If the parties are unable to agree upon adequate and sufficient provisions for the custody and maintenance of any children of that marriage or any property rights between them, * * * the court shall decide the issues upon which they cannot agree. * * * The failure or refusal of either party to agree as to adequate and sufficient provisions for the custody and maintenance of any children of that marriage or any property rights between the parties, or any portion of such issues, * * * shall not be used as evidence, or in any manner, against such party. No divorce shall be granted pursuant to this subsection until all matters involving custody and maintenance of any child of that marriage and property rights between the parties raised by the pleadings have been either adjudicated by the court or agreed upon by the parties and found to be adequate and sufficient by the court and included in the judgment of divorce. Appeals from any orders and judgments rendered pursuant to this subsection may be had as in other cases in chancery court * * *.
(4) Complaints for divorce on the ground of irreconcilable differences must have been on file for sixty (60) days before being heard. Except as otherwise provided in subsection (3) of this section, a joint complaint for divorce solely on the ground of irreconcilable differences of husband and wife, or a complaint where the defendant has been personally served with process or where the defendant has entered an appearance by written waiver of process, * * * shall be taken as proved and a final judgment entered thereon, as in other cases and without proof or testimony in termtime or vacation, the provisions of Section 93-5-17 to the contrary notwithstanding.
(5) * * * A divorce * * * on the ground of irreconcilable differences may be granted upon the single application of either the husband or wife even though the other spouse enters a contest or denial, provided that the petitioning husband or wife states that the marriage is irretrievably broken and cannot be reconciled.
(6) Irreconcilable differences may be asserted as a sole ground for divorce or as an alternate ground for divorce with any other cause for divorce set out in Section 93-5-1.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2005.