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In Mississippi, a Divorce Can Vanish?

In Mississippi, a Divorce Can Vanish
Ring Set
Should the Courts be able to “undo” a Divorce at any time?

Making a divorce go “poof” even after several years? In 18 years of legal practice, there are not many legal theories I have not at least heard of at some point. That is far to say that I am an expert in every field. Most of my time as an attorney in Pasco County is spent keeping up on the law as it deals with automobile accidents, injuries from dangerous products, insurance law, and general negligence. However, it’s rare to learn about a law and think, “I’ve never even heard of that before.”

If you had recently told me, “My brother was married in Miami last weekend and after only a few days, he told me he made a big mistake and wants out of it.” I would have likely recalled the days of studying family law back in college, and have thought, “Hmmm, maybe given that the marriage is finished after only a few days, an annulment would work.” That’s because it’s stuck in my memory that the “general” rule is that an annulment is a legal device in which a marriage can be nullified, as though it didn’t happen. Two other things I would personally associate with annulment would be marriages of a very short duration, and some type of fraud or illegality. But apart from that, I would most definitely have had to research the subject to see if it’s possible in Florida, because I simply do not keep up on family law.

This all leads me to the subject of recently stumbling across a law that made me think, “Wow, I’ve never heard of anything like that before. Really?” Call it the “un-divorce,” or even a “marital mulligan.” In Mississippi, you can potentially erase a divorce, as though it never happened. Whereas an annulment (or divorce, for that matter) is to terminate a marriage, what if a couple had been married for 20 years, and decided that they should end that marriage? What if they got a divorce, and 8 years later decided that the divorce was a mistake? Maybe the grass wasn’t greener on the other side? In Mississippi, it is possible to “revoke” the divorce, as though it didn’t happen.

The applicable Mississippi statute is:

SEC. 93-5-31. Judgment of divorce may be revoked.

The judgment of divorce from the bonds of matrimony may be revoked at any time by the court which granted it, under such regulations and restrictions as it may deem proper to impose, upon the joint application of the parties, and upon the production of satisfactory evidence of their reconciliation.

Anyway, the statute seems a little bizarre to me. If you revoke a divorce so that it never happened, does that mean you were potentially unfaithful if you were involved in relationships following the divorce? In any event, I suppose I can see an upside to it if two people thought a divorce was the biggest mistake they had made, and wished it would never happen. In the end, however, I am not sure it should be up to the legislature to play the part of the moral police.


About the Author:  Prior to becoming a personal injury attorney, Scott McPherson was a professional Pasco County Paramedic – Firefighter.  Scott now has over 18 years experience as a trial attorney representing persons injured in automobile accidents in New Port Richey and throughout the Tampa Bay area of Florida.  For more information, you can contact Scott directly 727-848-8892. Consultations are always free.

About this Blog Page:  Scott creates, types, edits, and publishes his own blogs.  A blog on this site is a snapshot summary of a legal topic at a certain point in time, and is not intended in any way as legal advice.

NOTE:  Apart from the typical legal disclaimers, I want to point out that I am not licensed to practice in Mississippi, and that nothing above should be deemed as giving legal advice for that state.  As is always the case with any blog, no attorney-client privilege should be implied, nor is legal advice intended in any way.

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