On May 9, 2017, Governor Phil Bryant signed SB2680 into law, strengthening domestic abuse provisions for divorce. Previously, a victim of domestic violence had to prove repeated physical abuse at the hands of his/her spouse to qualify for the “habitual cruel and inhuman treatment” grounds for divorce. Now the law is amended to define spousal abuse to include one incidence of physical, emotional, verbal, sexual abuse, or stalking.
Also compared to the previous version of the law, a victim no longer needs to have a witness to testify of the abuse in court. Often, the only witness to abuse is the victim or the victim’s child. The victim may act as his/her own witness now, saving children from being re-victimized by having to relive traumatic moments in front of a court and testifying against someone that they may love.
Click here to learn about how MS domestic violence reform law has evolved over the years.