The Final Exam for my Domestic Relations class is being given today at 9:00 am.
Mississippi College School of Law.
“Nice people don’t necessarily fall in love with nice people.”
― Jonathan Franzen, Freedom
Memorize the above. Believe it. #bowtielawyerms
Mississippi is again in the national news. I blogged recently about a same-sex divorce case pending in Desoto County, Mississippi. The Court has now rendered a verdict.
An apparent reluctant Judge, bound to follow the law as written, denied a divorce to a same-sex couple. The couple, married in California, separated in Mississippi after residing here for several years. Upon separation one party moved to Florida with the other remaining here. The Mississippian initially sought a contested divorce, but it appeared that the parties had come to a settlement for a no-fault (irreconcilable differences) divorce. However, their agreement to divorce was not enough.
Mississippi law, as it currently stands, prohibits the recognition of same-sex marriages in the State. Therefor, if you do not have a marriage, you cannot get a divorce. That is the basic logic that was applied in this instance.
Interestingly, State Attorney General Jim Hood intervened on behalf of the State. The AG’s office argued that the Mississippi Constitution defines marriage as between one man and one woman and that MS has a specific statute that disallows recognizing another state’s same-sex marriage. These arguments carried the day, at least for now.
The Mississippian, denied a divorce, plans to appeal the decision of the Chancellor and will challenge the constitutionality of Mississippi’s laws. The ultimate conclusion will be a balancing of the State’s compelling interest in “protecting” marriage and limitations on who may and may not marry versus an individual’s right to privacy, liberty, and the right to marry.
Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney and domestic relations adj. professor at MC Law; Keeping you abreast of the ever-changing world of family law in which we live in.
If the only prayer you said was, ‘Thank You,’ that would be enough. – Meister Eckhart.
One piece of “advice” that I routinely give is for the clients to be sure to thank those persons that helped them navigate the troubled waters of divorce. This is not me fishing for a compliment. The intent is for the thanks be given to family members, close friends, and/or anyone who helped them materially through the process. Thanksgiving is an appropriate time to remember this tip.
Matthew Thompson is a Family Law Attorney in the Hospitality State and knows that a little gratitude can go a long way.
One aspect of my practice that is important to me is the protection of client valuables (assets), but also just as important, if not more so, and often overlooked is protecting client’s values.
Values you say? What kind of divorce attorney cares about values? Well, they do seem to be fewer and far between, but they do exist. An attorney that values a client’s values is a good attorney to have. There are lots of tricks and subterfuge possible in family law. Financial disclosure are by and large based on the oath of the party completing it. Sure there are account statements, but it would be easy to fudge on. One recent case where values succumbed to valuables, the husband “forgot” to disclose he won the lottery 2 months before the divorce was final. Oops. Another, the husband did not disclose multiple houses and a subdivision that were acquired during the marriage. He figured nobody would find out.
So, why are values important? Valuables come and go. You can’t take them with you and all the other materialism clichés apply here. The bottom line is that Values, how you handle yourself in the divorce, how your children see you treating your ex, and how you parent in a divorce situation, matter more than stuff.
Matthew Thompson is an Asset Protection and Family Law Attorney in the Hospitality State and knows that values can be worth far more than valuables.