Mississippi Marital Property Laws
Anyone who’s planned a wedding knows that you’re busy thinking about getting the reception perfect. You’re not thinking about which one of you might get that perfect dining room table you’ll buy a few months down the road. We’re not figuring out how our possessions are going to be divided in a divorce before we even get married. So how do Magnolia State courts decide who gets what after a marriage ends? Here is a brief overview of marital property laws in Mississippi.
Marital Property Law
Under state law, “marital property” refers to all of the possessions and interests acquired after a couple gets married. A few states have laws that recognize that all marital property as "community property," which is equally owned by both parties and is equally divided after a divorce. Mississippi, on the other hand, has no community property law, which allows for both more flexibility and more uncertainty when property gets divided during a divorce.
Marital Property Laws in Mississippi
States have unique marital property laws. Mississippi’s marital property statutes are listed in the table below.
Community Property Recognized?
Dower And Curtesy
Dower and curtesy abolished (§93-3-5)
Marital Property and Separate Property
Normally, the property you buy or receive while married becomes marital property. Should you get divorced, marital property is considered jointly owned and will get jointly divided, as close to evenly as possible. On the other hand, property that you owned before the marriage is separate property and is normally not subject to division. There are some exceptions to the marital property rule: things like inheritance, gifts, and in some cases 401Ks are considered separate property.
Without community property laws, Mississippi courts are tasked with determining a “fair” property division between divorcing parties. For the most part, courts consider fair as each party getting about half of the jointly owned property. But a court could decide that an unequal property split is fair, especially if some fault is alleged by one of the parties. If both parties are able to come to their own agreement regarding property division, a court will generally honor the agreement.
Mississippi Marital Property Laws: Related Resources
Divorces are already emotionally and legally complex, before dividing up your possessions comes into it. You can consult with a Mississippi divorce attorney if you would like legal assistance with a marital property or divorce matter. You can also find more resources and information on this topic by visiting FindLaw's section on Divorce and Property.
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