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How do you divorce an incarcerated spouse?

On Behalf of | Sep 13, 2021 | Divorce

Couples end their marriages for many reasons, and the partners might find that troubles arise from unique and challenging circumstances. When one spouse is in jail or prison, the other spouse could file for divorce. Divorcing a spouse incarcerated in Texas could add some complexities to the proceedings. However, it may still be possible to move forward with the dissolution regardless of the spouse’s imprisonment.

Divorce and incarceration

As with any divorce, one party may serve the other with the necessary papers. Serving someone with divorce papers might require additional steps when he or she is in jail. However, a process server handles those duties. There could be another way to inform a spouse about the divorce action, such as sending a Waiver of Service. If the incarcerated spouse agrees to the waiver, there’s no need for process serving.

Both spouses might agree to an uncontested divorce and reach an agreeable settlement. Settling the divorce and dividing assets without much negotiation could move things easier and faster, which might be helpful when one spouse cannot leave the prison.

The court proceedings and negotiations could become more complicated and challenging when the couple cannot agree on child support, asset division, or other matters. The incarcerated spouse may attend court in person under certain circumstances, but the possibility of providing testimony via video conferencing might exist.

A unique aspect of Texas law

When one spouse receives a felony conviction, the other may use the conviction as grounds for divorce. Texas allows spouses to seek a no-fault or a fault divorce. The felony conviction might serve as the basis for fault.

The process could take additional time to conclude. Spouses may need to accept the added challenges dealing with incarceration brings. Still, the divorce process remains mainly the same.