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Domestic violence as grounds for divorce? It’s in lawmakers’ hands.

Video: Dawn Franklin tells her story of domestic violence that left her almost dead

Dawn Franklin tells her story of abuse at the hands of her former boyfriend, David Adele. Franklin was with Adele for two years until he nearly beat her to death on July 6, 2012. He is now serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole
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Dawn Franklin tells her story of abuse at the hands of her former boyfriend, David Adele. Franklin was with Adele for two years until he nearly beat her to death on July 6, 2012. He is now serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole

Domestic violence isn’t a cause for divorce in Mississippi but that could change if a new bill makes it through the Legislature.

Sen. Brice Wiggins, R-Pascagoula, has co-authored SB 2703 with Sen. Sally Doty, R-Brookhaven. It would add domestic violence as grounds for divorce in the state, giving Mississippi 13 grounds for divorce.

Wiggins and Doty wrote a similar bill last year along with Sen. Jennifer Branning, R-Philadelphia, but it died in committee when a 14th condition was added to the bill — separation.

The separation condition was not in the language of Wiggins’ 2017 bill, but another Coast senator has introduced legislation to add it.

Sen. Sean Tindell, R-Gulfport, has written SB 2483. Tindell’s bill would add “bona fide separation” as grounds for divorce in Mississippi.

Grounds for divorce in Mississippi

▪  impotence

▪  adultery

▪  bigamy — marriage to someone else at the time of marriage

▪  criminal conviction and sentence to any jail time

▪  willful continuous desertion for at least one year

▪  habitual alcohol or drug abuse

▪  habitual cruel and inhuman treatment

▪  wife’s pregnancy by another at the time of marriage without the husband’s knowledge

▪  hospitalization or institutionalization of a spouse for three years due to insanity

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