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

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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