If you are thinking about getting a divorce but your spouse is incarcerated, you may be wondering if you have to wait until he is released or if it is even possible to get a divorce. The following are just a few things you should know if you find yourself in this situation.
The laws vary by state
All states will allow a woman to divorce her husband when he is serving time in prison. However, there are various regulations on how you go about doing this. For example, one common element is how long a sentence a man must be serving before you can attempt to divorce him. In many states, if a man is serving a sentence of less than a year, you will have to wait until he is released from prison to divorce him.
Your husband will need to be served notice
Although it would seem easy to serve notice of a divorce to a man in prison, there may be a specific procedure for the state the prison is located in as well as the prison itself. Also, there may be a problem with an inmate refusing to accept the papers. The prison will likely have a procedure in place if this happens.
Your husband may not be in court
Normally, a husband will appear in court before a family court judge and a man in prison has this same right. However, if his crime was violent, he will probably be denied the request to attend the hearing, so if you are worried about this, it is not likely to happen. There is still a chance that an attorney representing him could be at the hearing.
Child support is possible
If your husband is serving a sentence that will mean he is released while your child will still be a minor, it may be worth getting an order of child support. But it is not just about your husband's ability to produce income after prison. It may be possible for your husband to liquidate certain assets to pay for child support. These assets would be those you are not likely entitled to because they were acquired before your marriage. This is one possibility for a man to pay for child support after a divorce while in prison.
Because the laws are different in each state, you need to have a divorce lawyer assist you in divorcing your spouse while he is serving time in prison. If you are living in a state outside of the state your spouse is incarcerated in, the legal complexities only increase. But a divorce attorney with experience in this area of divorce will have no problem helping you with your specific circumstances.