Filing for divorce is difficult for all spouses, whether they’re going the cheaper online divorce route or locked in a prolonged courtroom combat. Each situation has its own set of challenges that the spouse must consider as they think about the next step. One of the less common divorce motivators is having a spouse in jail, yet it happens every day.
You’ll find that, like all moves for dissolution of a marriage, it has its own set of guidelines, and it can vary somewhat on the specifics depending on your state of residence. However, most follow a common pattern, and though different, it’s not difficult.
First: Visit With Your County Clerk About The Forms You Need.
The county clerk’s office is the common starting point for all married couples once they make the decision to file for divorce. The office can steer you toward the appropriate forms. Some keep it simple, while others have a slightly tweaked variation specific to marriages where a spouse is in jail. MyDivorcePapers.com can take much of the legwork out of this by connecting you with the proper divorce papers in your state.
Next: Obtain A Copy Of The Mittimus.
A mittimus is a transcript of the conviction and sentencing stages, which is duly certified by a clerk of court. This is an official record that the spouse is incarcerated.
After That: Submit Your Filing With Mittimus.
You will generally have to pay a filing fee, which will also vary depending on your state.
Finally: Wait For The Signature.
An incarcerated spouse will do one of two things at this point. He’ll either sign the papers, which will release the filing to a judge for final decree, or he’ll refuse to sign in which case the DIY part of the divorce is over, and you’ll probably have to get an attorney. In many states, being incarcerated is grounds for a divorce, so you’ve got the law on your side if that’s the case.
While the above should in no way be taken as legal advice, it does offer a general overview of what to expect should you choose to go this route. For the specifics, make sure you speak to your county clerk, and best of luck!