How Do You Divorce Someone Who Is in Jail?


Quick Answer

The rules governing divorce while one spouse is in prison vary from state to state, notes LegalZoom. If you want to initiate divorce proceedings, it is important to check with your state laws and regulations. Many states have laws intended to make divorce easier to pursue when one spouse is incarcerated.

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Full Answer

The first step is to speak with a clerk at a family court in your jurisdiction to clarify if there is a specific form needed to file for divorce from an incarcerated spouse, according to LegalZoom. Obtain and complete the appropriate forms or the traditional no-fault divorce paperwork. Attach a copy of the transcript of your spouse's conviction and sentencing stages, certified by the court, to the divorce paperwork. To obtain a copy of this, request it from the criminal court in which your spouse was convicted.

If you have an attorney, she can complete a marital dissolution agreement and present it to your spouse, claims Ferrell Law Firm. This option is ideal if you and your spouse agree on the divorce, property division and child custody arrangements. Otherwise, it may be necessary to file for a divorce on grounds of conviction and imprisonment.

If you don't have a lawyer, submit the papers and fees to the family court. Determine whether the court plans to serve your spouse or if you must do so, says LegalZoom. If it is your responsibility, do so by certified mail or through the sheriff's office. File any necessary papers and fees with your family court. At least one hearing is likely to follow.

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