Here’s the opening sentence from the Mississippi Court of Appeals’ decision this week in Fore v. Fore:

After a five-day divorce trial, Darlene and Cotton Fore found themselves still married.

That’s great writing by Judge Gene Fair. Accurate, descriptive, funny and leaving the reader wanting to know more.

The case dealt with both the husband and wife suing for divorce based on grounds of adultery. Chancery Judge Jim Persons ruled against both–neither proved adultery.

I’m not a divorce lawyer, so I don’t get it.

If they both wanted a divorce, why have a trial? Why not just agree to an irreconcilable differences divorce? Bragging rights?

At least both sets of lawyers can claim to have successfully defended a divorce case after a five day trial.

  • Mutual hatred and the money to pay lawyers, Philip. I don’t know those lawyers, but I doubt they have anything to be proud of.

    Note also where the chancellor essentially called out some PIs for incompetence:

    ‘There was testimony of only one incident in which the two were alone together, or so they thought. On that occasion, however, the headlights of a private investigator’s vehicle illuminated them as they arrived at Cotton’s residence. The chancellor commented on this testimony as follows: “The investigators confronted Mr. Fore rather than staking out the residence and making an identification of the female leaving the home and determining how long she remained there.”’

  • Old Lawyer

    Good post but remember that irreconcilible differences requires an agreed property settlement which seems unlikely for this pair.

  • I must say btw how great it is to have a “Judge Fair,” like a character out of a children’s book. Even better than Judge Friendly.

  • Ignatius

    I hate to quibble with Old Lawyer, but even in an ID divorce, the parties may submit issues to the court for determination. Both parties must voluntarily agree to the submission of the issues to the court, the agreement has to be in writing, specifically state the issues and be signed, and it must recite that the parties understand that the decision of the court is binding. Thus sayeth Debbie Bell and Mississippi statute.

  • W.C. Fore just can’t catch a break from the MSSC these days.

  • Mike

    If a person has 100 million dollars and no divorce is granted, there can be no division of assets. So if his claim for divorce based on adultery is denied, he may find it advantageous to remain married, but separated. Who has the bargaining position now?

  • Oak425

    If you want to know what this case is about read the Appellee Brief. Mike is correct: no divorce, no division. Got to think outside the box guys! There is even a law school professor who addressed the case in class and he has no clue or insight as to what the case is really about. Note: the husband did not appeal the denial of the divorce he plead. Wonder why? Yep, he has the bargaining position now.