Divorcing an Incarcerated Person: What You Need to Know

Divorce can be a challenging process under any circumstances, but when your spouse is incarcerated, it can make things even more complicated. This blog post will provide you with all the information you need to know about divorcing an incarcerated person, including the legal steps you must follow and how you can protect your interests during the process.

Legal Process

The first step in divorcing an incarcerated person is to file for divorce with the court. However, the process may differ depending on whether your spouse is in county jail or state prison. If they are in county jail, the divorce process can start by serving your spouse with the necessary papers. However, if they are in state prison, things can be more complex as you may require the services of an attorney who is skilled in navigating the legal hurdles associated with divorce and prison.

Property Division

In a divorce, property division is a crucial aspect that must be handled properly to protect your interests. In the case of an incarcerated spouse, the property division can be more challenging as your spouse may not have access to financial records, and you may have to locate assets on your own. Additionally, you need to factor in any assets that may be held by the state or federal government, which can further complicate the process. It is best to involve an attorney to ensure that all property is accounted for and — if necessary — evaluated by a professional appraiser.

Child Custody

When it comes to child custody, the best interest of the child is the most important factor. This can be even more complicated when your spouse is incarcerated. In such cases, the court will consider multiple factors when determining custody, such as the distance between the prison and your home, the age and needs of the child, and the risks associated with the parent's incarceration. You will need an attorney to help you navigate this process and ensure the best outcome for your child.

Spousal Support

In some cases, spousal support may be granted to the non-incarcerated spouse, depending on the circumstances. However, there are no guarantees that such support will be granted, and if it is, the amount may be reduced due to your spouse's lack of income. Additionally, you may encounter challenges as your incarcerated spouse may not be able to appear at any court hearings. An attorney can help you navigate this process and ensure that you receive a fair outcome.

Contact a local divorce lawyer for more information.