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Family Law & Divorce

Mississippi and Tennessee Divorce Lawyer Dedicated To Providing Aggressive Representation. Representing Clients Involved in Family Law Matters.
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define your future

Protect the relationships that matter most, through life’s most challenging transitions.

Facing family law matters can be some of the most painful and stressful legal experiences. Decisions made regarding family law cases not only affect the future of the parties involved but also the future of children and other friends and family involved.

We have helped clients facing family law matters including:

  • Irreconcilable Differences Divorces
  • Fault–Based Divorces
  • Property Division & Equitable Distribution
  • Alimony
  • Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreements
  • Child Custody
  • Child Support
  • Modification Actions
  • Visitation
  • Contempt Actions
  • Adoptions
  • Termination of Parental Rights
  • Paternity Actions
  • Separate Maintenance Actions

 

Get a Simple No Fault Divorce

Flat Rate No-Fault Divorce: Finalize in 60 Days.

F.A.Q.

Family law matters in Mississippi are handled in chancery court. In Tennessee, the court may vary. An effective attorney will work hard to ensure your desired outcome, while minimizing the stress of the process as much as possible.

What is family law?

Family law covers all areas dealing with family matters in court. For example, this includes divorces, both contested and irreconcilable difference divorce (also known as “no-fault”); child custody issues; obtaining child support and defense of child support actions against a non-custodial parent; guardianships; and adoptions.

What are grounds for divorce in Mississippi?

If your spouse does not agree to an irreconcilable difference divorce, then you must file a contested divorce on one or more of the 12 following grounds. You must prove that your spouse:

  • is naturally impotent
  • committed adultery
  • is sentenced to any state penitentiary (jail or prison) without pardon
  • deserts you for one year
  • is habitually drunk
  • excessively and habitually uses opium, morphine, or other similar drugs
  • habitually treats you in a cruel and inhuman way, including domestic abuse
  • had a mental illness or intellectual disability at the time of your marriage and you did not know about it at the time
  • was already married to someone else when you “married” each other
  • was pregnant by someone else when you got married and you did not know about the pregnancy
  • is related to you
  • is incurably mentally ill

See the Causes for Divorce in Mississippi Code section 93-5-1

What are grounds for divorce in Tennessee?

A no fault divorce in Tennessee may be filed on the grounds of:

  • Irreconcilable differences
  • Living apart for two years (without children)

 A fault divorce may be filed based upon the grounds your spouse:

  • is naturally impotent and incapable of procreation
  • committed adultery
  • is sentenced to any state penitentiary (jail or prison)
  • deserts you for one year
  • refuses to move to Tennessee and has been apart from you in Tennessee for two years
  • is habitually drunk
  • abandons you and refuses to care for you while having the means to do so
  • excessively and habitually uses opium, morphine, or other similar drugs
  • habitually treats you in a cruel and inhuman way, including domestic abuse
  • attempts to take your life
  • was already married to someone else when you “married” each other
  • was pregnant by someone else when you got married and you did not know about the pregnancy
How can you use domestic abuse as grounds for divorce?

Using domestic abuse as a grounds for a contested divorce can be based on your testimony that the abuser:

  • caused or attempted to cause bodily injury
  • caused or attempted to cause physical threat to put you in fear of immediate serious bodily harm; or
  • engaged in a pattern of behavior against you of threats or intimidation, emotional or verbal abuse, forced isolation, sexual extortion or sexual abuse, or stalking or aggravated stalking
How long do divorce proceedings take?

An irreconcilable difference divorce takes 60 days upon filing of the joint complaint for divorce. A contested divorce has no timeframe and may take much longer depending on what the parties contest.

How is child custody determined?

Traditionally, courts automatically awarded custody to the mother — but today, that is no longer the case. Courts today weigh several factors in deciding who will have primary custody of children in a divorce. Learn more

What is joint custody?

Joint custody is where both parents share equally in custody of the children. This means each parent has the child an equal amount of time, and neither parent has more custody rights than the other.

The two types of custody rights are physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody is which parent the children reside with the majority of time. Legal custody is the right of one or both parents to have decision-making rights in regards to child’s health, education and welfare. Joint custody would mean equal parenting; the parents agree to co-parent together and share equally in custody of the child.

How is child support determined?

Child support is based on statutory law and is generally a percentage of the non-custodial parent’s income, based on the number of children the parties had together. The total amount reflects all sources of income, adjusted after standard deductions; from that total, the percentage due is calculated based on the number of children. In Mississippi, child support is paid until the children reach age 21. In Tennessee, child support is paid until the children reach age 18 or graduate high school.

Read the Child Support Award Guidelines in Mississippi Code section 43-19-101.

Learn more about child support guidelines in Tennessee.

Do grandparents have visitation rights in Mississippi?

Grandparents may petition the court for visitation rights when one or both of the parents have had their parental rights terminated or one or both of the parents are deceased.

In a recent decision Smith v. Martin, handed down April 20, 2017, the Mississippi Supreme Court now requires the Court to determine if, in addition to the above provisions, granting reasonable grandparent visitations rights are in the best interest of the child.

That specific case also assigns the Court the determination of the frequency and amount. These findings by the Court make clear that grandparents do not have the same rights as the parents, even when those parental rights are removed.

Alternatively, a grandparent may petition for visitation when they fall outside of these guidelines and can show they had a viable relationship with the child and it is in the child’s best interest to have court ordered visitation.

The grandparent of a child who has both parents living may petition a chancery court for visitation, and the visitation may be granted, provided the court finds that the grandparent has established a viable relationship with the child, the parent or custodian of the child has unreasonably denied the grandparent visitation rights, and visitation would be in the best interests of the child.

Do grandparents have visitation rights in tennessee?

In Tennessee, grandparents may may have grounds for visitation with their grandchild if:

  • the child lived with the grandparent for a year or more prior to living with the parent(s)
  • the child was found to have had a significant relationship with the grandparent that has now been impacted by being separated by the parent(s)
  • the child’s parents were never married or are divorced or separated
  • the child’s parents are deceased
  • one of the child’s parents have been missing for six months or longer

In addition, a grandparent must also prove that the child would be emotionally harmed by the termination of the relationship by showing:

  • the relationship was so significant that severe emotional harm would be caused by separation
  • the grandparent previously acted as the child’s caregiver and by severing the relationship, the child’s needs cannot be met
  • the child could suffer harm without the relationship with the grandparent

Hiring a family lawyer

Families can face myriad struggles in navigating the legal system in Mississippi and Tennessee. Obtaining a family lawyer can be an effective method of avoiding further stress on a family involved in a legal matter.

Ask amy

As seen in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal’s “Ask a Professional”

Client Testimonials

dui charges

"I received a D.U.I. other in Lee County while on probation which Amy fought against and was able to get dismissed on a technicality. Then within three months I again was charged with a subsequent offense in Pontotoc County and was charged with D.U.I. and Amy was also successful in getting that dismissed.

It really does matter which attorney you select, and I couldn’t recommend a better one than Amy."

–M.K

multiple traffic violations

"Attorney Amy Pietrowski was responsive and quick to take appropriate action. She provided me with wise counsel and good guidance. I received a speeding ticket, a tint violation, and no insurance and live out of state. Amy was able to get all the offenses dismissed and my appearance in court wasn't even required. Highly recommend her! Great job!!!!"

–JB/ Arkansas

DUI

“Amy was very attentive to my feeling uncomfortable as this was my first DUI offense. She took my call and texts promptly and did not drag my case out. She was fantastic. I highly recommend her.”

–Anonymous Avvo Review

Custody case

“Amy is not only a caring and professional attorney, but she is dedicated and will bring results to your case. I cant thank her enough for getting me custody of my little girl. Will continue to use this attorney for any future needs. I highly recommend for anyone that needs a good attorney that will fight for their case.”

– E.R

traffic violation

“Ms. Pietrowski was so helpful in handling a traffic case for my son. He was visiting from out-of-state and received a traffic citation. Amy answered her call and was wonderful to work with. She addressed all of our questions and concerns and helped us through the stress of dealing with an issue from several states away. I cannot recommend her and her firm enough. Awesome!"

– RJ

professional, caring and knowledgeable

"Attorney Pietrowski is one of the shining examples of professional, caring and knowledgeable attorneys. She listened, advocated and kept me informed throughout the proceedings of my case. I am very pleased with the quality, responsiveness and extensive legal expertise of Attorney Amy Pietrowski."

–CR/ Memphis TN

cdl violation

"Attorney Pietrowski served my legal needs efficiently. She personally emailed and called me when there were any changes or updates with my case. When it came time for trail, Attorney Pietrowski was well prepared and had all my citations dismissed, no longer jeopardizing my Bus Driver Licensing."

–JD/Memphis TN

cdl violation

"I was ticketed during the scope of my employment and with the help from Attorney Pietrowski she was able to have all my charges dismissed resolving any potential employment issues."

–RR, LA

speeding violation

"My speeding violation was dismissed as a result of Attorney Pietrowski knowledge of procedural techniques. I highly recommend Pietrowski Law Practice for your legal needs!"

–LK, GA

youth court

"My child was involved in an altercation in school and she was facing a DeSoto County Youth Court charge of a Delinquent Child or Child in Need of Supervision with an additional charge of simple assault. We retained attorney Amy Pietrowski and she was quick to get involved and with her legal representation was able to get our case dismissed. We had never been involved with the Youth Court and with Amy's assistance we had a clear understanding of what to expect each step of the way. You can't go wrong when you retain Amy!"

–JB/Mississippi

public drunk

"I was charged with Public Drunk and Failure to Obey the Lawful Command of a Police Officer in Lafayette County, Mississippi. Amy worked very hard on my behalf and was able to get the Failure to Obey dismissed and the Public Drunk charge off my record as well through her diligence. As a result, I can move forward with my life knowing these offenses are not part of my permanent record as I graduate from college."

–Z.L.

dui and other traffic violations

"I have never been in trouble before and was facing multiple traffic offenses and criminal charges. I was charged with a D.U.I. far above the legal limit, no insurance, a seatbelt violation, careless driving, and open container in Prentiss County. I knew I faced a lot of jail time and Amy was able to fight for me and get all the charges dismissed but the D.U.I. charge (which despite the other alcohol offenses I was still offered probation); keeping it off my permanent record and me out of jail. I was so thankful to have her on my side!"

–M.S.

possession of marijuana, alcohol, no insurance

"I am highly regarded in my local community and had made several very poor choices and was pulled over while driving and charged with possession of marijuana in a motor vehicle, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of alcohol, and no insurance. I didn’t know where to turn but liked that Amy had been a United States Marine soldier and trusted her to defend me. Amy went to court and was able to fight and defend my case and based on the law argued - all the charges were dismissed!"

–W.E.

speeding ticket

I was charged with speeding in Oxford, Lafayette County and Amy was able to get this dismissed. I was extremely happy with her representation and her attentiveness to my phone calls concerning my legal defense.

– J.D.

following too closely violation

"I was charged with following too closely in Tippah County, Mississippi, and I live out of state. My attorney fought for me and I wasn’t required to actually appear in court, saving me both time and money. Amy was able to get the charge dismissed keeping it off my driving record and my insurance didn’t change as a result of her defending me! Very thankful for the outcome."

–C.R.

visitation

"I am a young father who couldn’t afford an attorney to fight for custody. Amy was able to negotiate on my behalf my visitation rights so I could see my son without a huge expense, or courtroom drama. This attorney was very talented in reaching an agreement and keeping this from escalating into a custody battle."

–M.P.

speeding, careless driving and other traffic violations

"I was charged with a speeding ticket, no insurance, careless driving, reckless driving, I also hold a Commercial Driver’s License. I live in Florida and by retaining Amy as my attorney I did not have to drive back to appear in Court. Amy was able to keep the offenses off my record enabling me to keep my CDL and my job. There is no better attorney than Amy Pietrowski."

–F.C.

speeding ticket & cdl

"I was charged with speeding and I live out of state and drive a school bus. I could not afford to lose my job, nor come back to court. I hired Amy and she successfully got the speeding ticket dismissed. I highly recommend retaining her as your attorney."

–L.K.

child custody

"I hired Amy to modify a child custody order granting me sole custody of my child due to the conduct of the father. I thought we would have a long drawn out custody battle but Amy was successful in getting the case resolved swiftly while remaining very professional and diligent in ensuring the outcome would be to the best interest of my child. I would highly recommend her to anyone facing the same situation."

–J.S.

emergency custody

"My child's mother had allowed my son to be in a non-safe environment and I needed emergency custody. Amy was successful in obtaining emergency custody and getting my son out of a very harmful situation and in court within a day. I have maintained sole custody of my son and mother has restricted and supervised visitation permantly until she can prove to the court she has made the necessary improvements. I was extremely satisfied with the passion Amy displayed for me and my child! You need to hire this attorney!"

–D.B.

speeding violation

"My speeding violation was dismissed as a result of Attorney Pietrowski's knowledge of procedural law. I highly recommend Pietrowski Law Practice for your legal needs! Thanks - excellent job!!
– "L.K."

public drunk

"I was charged with Public Drunk in Lafayette County. I was a student at the time and had never been in any trouble before. Amy was knowledgeable and always available to meet with me to discuss any questions or concerns I had along the way.

With her skill, Amy was able to keep this off my record so I could move forward after graduation and gain employment in a career where this offense would not be conducive to maintaining employment - with both the education and career I have worked hard to obtain.

Trust Amy with your legal problems, she truly cares."

–Z.B. | Lafayette County, MS

DUI Lafayette County

Amy Pietrowski represented me in my criminal matter involving my DUI in Lafayette County. It was my first and I was terrified of the process and what would happen to me. Amy was easily available to answer my questions, and always returned my phone calls or correspondence. I felt like she truly cared.

She fought hard for me and explained what would occur in court and was able to resolve my matter quickly and keep it off my record.

I would highly recommend her as your DUI attorney!!

– L.R. | Lafayette County

DUI | No Insurance | Reckless Driving

"She was diligent and fought hard for me. She was able to keep all these charges off my record."
– J.A.

Lee County Court | Shoplifting

"I was charged with shoplifting at the city court and I hired Amy to appeal my case in the higher court. She met with me and heard all the facts and then was able to develop a strategy and defend my case and get it dismissed!"
– J.C.

Shelby County Court | Felony Assault

"I was charged with felony assault and Amy got it lowered to a misdemeanor assault and then defended me and kept it off my record."

–L.T.

Monroe County Justice Court | Speeding Violation

“I was charged with speeding violation and Amy got it dismissed.”

–"D.W."

Bolivar County Justice Court | Speeding Violation, Insurance

“My charge was no insurance, speeding 30 mph over the limit and Amy Pietrowski was successful in keeping it off my record.”

–P.D.

Lafayette County City Court | DUI

“I was charged with a DUI and was very satisfied with Amy's defense and her ability to get it dismissed.”

–R.L.

Tate County Justice Court | Stalking Charge

“My former girlfriend charged me with stalking and it didn't appear I was going to stay out of jail. Amy researched the caselaw and was able to successfully defend my case and get it dismissed.”

–"T.E.D."

Lee County Justice Court | DUI, No Insurance, Traffic Violations

“I was charged with a DUI, No Insurance, and Failure to Keep in Proper Lane. It didn't look like good for me so I hired Amy and she was won a dismissal. Highly recommend her!”

–"J.A."

Olive Branch Municipal Court | CDL Violation

“I received a ticket for Following a Non-Truck route and am a C.D.L. Driver. This ticket meant I was going to lose my job. Amy prepared my legal defense and we won a not-guilty verdict!”

–"W.F."

Desoto County Southaven Justice Court | Second Offense DUI

“I had a second offense DUI charge and Amy was able to get it dismissed.”

–"M.D."

Olive Branch Municipal Court | CDL Traffic Violation

Attorney Amy Pietrowski represented my violation of Disobeying a Traffic Control Device and I hold a CDL license and would have lost my job. She successfully tried the case and it was dismissed.

–"J.T."

Winston County, MS | CDL and DUI

“Amy Pietrowski tried my DUI case, cross examined the officer revealing his lack of evidence and successfully allowed me to keep my CDL license and won the case with a not guilty verdict from the judge.”

–“J.A.”

Dedicated, real and honest

"Amy is not only a great attorney, she is also a wonderful person. Dedicated doesn't even scratch the surface of this tough-love lawyer. She is always quick to respond when you need something and communicates effectively when there are updates with your case. She shows what I feel is sincere empathy, but also keeps it real and honest. I appreciate her professional style and integrity- it works!"

-W.E.

Contact Us

Southaven
7028 Flower Creek
Southaven, MS 38671

Oxford
317 Heritage Drive
Suite 7, Oxford, MS 38655

Tupelo
3543 Tom Watson Drive
Saltillo, MS 38866

(662) 372-1622

DUI, DWI | Criminal Defense | Family Lawyer

Licensed in Mississippi and Tennessee

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