State Lawmaker Reconsiders Domestic Violence As Grounds For Divorce


After facing backlash forkilling a bill that would have addeddomestic violenceto the listing of legal reasons a person can get a divorce inMississippi, government Rep. Andy Gipson( R-Braxton) has backtracked.

The Mississippi lawmaker introduced an amendment on Monday that would allow physical, emotional, verbal, sex and fiscal insult as grounds for divorce.

Gipson have already been argued that victims of domestic violence cases were already covered under the existing grounds.

There are currently12 grounds for divorce in the government, including adultery, drunkenness and impotence. Victims of domestic violence cases can petition for divorce on grounds of habitual cruel and inhuman treatment but experts say it is difficult for victims to prove the abuse was habitual, and someone else has to corroborate their claims.

The revised bill be clarified that merely one instance of insult is required, and that the main victims can witness as the sole witness.

I am very pleased that the Mississippi House of Representatives has adopted a set of clear evidentiary guidelines on the important question of domestic insult divorce, Gipson said in a statement.

These guidelines will provide real and immediate help to domestic violence cases victims, as well as assistance to magistrates statewide as they consider domestic insult divorce cases.

He said he worked with the Mississippi Center for Violence Prevention to draft the solution.The revised bill passed the House on Monday and now heads to the Senate.

In a blog post, divorce lawyer Matthew Thompson, an adjunct professor of household statute at Mississippi College School of Law in Jackson, praised the amendment for addressing one of the biggest obstacles facing domestic violence cases victims when procuring a divorce: the corroboration requirement.

Prior to this bill, the grumbling party had to have a witness or such other corroboration of physical insult, in addition to their own witnes, he wrote.

The problem with that is that in domestic violence cases situations it is routinely behind closed doors, in secret and it is all too common for the abused to not tell anyone.


Melissa Jeltsen encompass domestic violence cases and other issues related to womens health, safety and security. Tips? Feedback? Send an email or follow her on Twitter.