MISSISSIPPI’S GRANDPARENT VISITATION STATUTE IS NOT UNCONSTITUTIONAL

Mississippi law in Section 93-16-3(1), provides for grandparent visitation: (1) Whenever a court of this state enters a decree or order awarding custody of a minor child to one (1) of the parents of the child or terminating the parental rights of one (1) of the parents of a minor child, or whenever one (1) […]

DON’T WRITE ON ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS

There are many times when clients will bring documents, records, phone bills, tax returns, or financial statements in to the office with their comments or observations written directly on the document.  This is fine if the comments are on a copy, but it can be very problematic if the comments are on an original.  If […]

HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT PUTTING A DISABILITY INSURANCE PROVISION IN YOUR DIVORCE AGREEMENT?

It is quite common for parties to negotiate life insurance coverage for divorce agreements, but it seems quite uncommon to provide for disability insurance.  Of course, this insurance is not as common as life insurance and may prove too expensive for many couples, but insurance agents tell us disability is much more probable than we […]

BEWARE OF MEETING PEOPLE ON SOCIAL NETWORKING OR DATING MATCH SITES

As a divorce lawyer, I am seeing social networking take an ever-increasing role in my cases.  Years ago, I first encountered this when opposing counsel produced a copy of a dating service posting by my client listing himself as single.  Since that time, I have seen many instances of people posting themselves as single, when […]

LAWYERS NEED TO THINK ABOUT IDENTITY THEFT IN THE HANDLING OF THEIR CASES, PARTICULARLY FAMILY LAW CASES

The Jackson- based Clarion Ledger reported a marked rise in identity theft in Mississippi.  In 2007, the Jackson metro area wasn’t even ranked in identity theft complaints, but last year, it ranked 31st.  The article cites many ways identity theft can occur. This situation should cause all lawyers to pause and think about how they are […]

WHAT HAPPENS WITH HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS DURING SEPARATION BEFORE COURT INVOLVEMENT? WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

Your spouse has left the home.  You don’t know if they have a lawyer or whether divorce is imminent, but you are afraid or concerned because they have free access to the home.  What is the law, and what do you do? Until a court order is entered, both spouses have access to the home. […]

HOW TO NEGOTIATE WITHOUT CAUSING TROUBLE, PARTICULARLY WITH A DOMINANT SPOUSE

A lot of my clients talk with their spouses directly about settlement of divorce disputes.  Many times my clients want to know what to say.  I have developed a simple script for them to follow.  The simplicity is important, because they need to be able to remember the script under pressure. Here it is: Give only […]

BEWARE OF TAKING YOUR CHILD TO A MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL WITHOUT THE OTHER PARENT’S KNOWLEDGE

For years, I have had a philosophy of not entering into a custody action without some supporting testimony from a mental health professional.  Often, there are issues reported by the children that can be brought out through the testimony of the mental health professional and one doesn’t want the other party to know this is […]

THE DANGER OF THE SCHOOL ADMISSION FORM IN CUSTODY CASES

School admission forms become an issue in many custody cases.  In some cases, a Mother involved in divorce is angry at the Father, so she doesn’t list him on the school form.  In other cases, Father will list his new wife (the step mother) as the mother and neglect to list the children’s natural mother.  These […]

CAN BOTH PARTIES GET A DIVORCE ON FAULT GROUNDS? WHAT IF BOTH HAVE GROUNDS?

The question often arises, “Who will get the divorce if both parties are guilty of adultery?” Or, “I might have been guilty of adultery, but she was guilty of cruelty, so that’s why I committed adultery; who will get the divorce?”  The answer is that a court cannot grant a divorce to both parties.  The […]