When you love someone, you would be willing to spend your life with that person no matter what obstacles come into your married life. However, anything can happen in your married life – both good and bad, that is.

Unfortunately, a lot of marriages end up in divorce. In such cases, the estranged couple has to call divorce lawyers to end their marriage for good. Divorce happens due to various reasons such as domestic violence or irreconcilable differences. However, the process can be more complicated if your spouse is incarcerated for a crime.

For one thing, it is possible to divorce a spouse who is currently serving time in jail. You can hire top-rated divorce lawyers to settle your divorce case. However, how will the case affect your decision to divorce your spouse who is in jail? Here are some things you need to know when you are planning to divorce an incarcerated spouse.

Planning the divorce

As mentioned, you can divorce your spouse even if he or she is in jail. The same grounds for divorce will still apply. As you may already know, the common reasons for divorce include:

  • Infidelity
  • Domestic abuse/violence
  • Lack of intimacy
  • Different religious beliefs
  • Addiction/substance abuse
  • Financial problems
  • Getting married too young

The reason why your spouse is jailed can also be grounds for divorce as mentioned above. On the other hand, your spouse may have committed a heinous crime and you are fearing for your safety if ever he or she gets out of prison. These are valid reasons to file for a divorce.

Different types of divorce

There are different types of divorce that may suit your situation best. You may either choose to file for dissolution, summary dissolution, legal separation, or annulment. Dissolution refers to the end of a domestic partnership or a marriage. At the same time, property division, alimony, and child support will be settled with the help of spousal support lawyers and child support lawyers.

A summary dissolution, on the other hand, is available only in some states. There is a list of criteria that should all be met. Among the criteria include:

  • No children together
  • Do not own or rent any real estate properties other than your current home
  • Less than 5 years of marriage
  • Agrees that neither spouse will not receive any financial support and all assets and debts will be equally divided

Annulment is different from a divorce and deems the marriage as void and inexistent. Among reasons for annulment include fraud, married as minors, and incest. Meanwhile, legal separation is considered not yet final unlike divorce and have to complete a dissolution process to end the marriage legally.

Doing the legwork for paperwork

The next step is to complete all the necessary paperwork for the divorce. You can find more information about the forms you will need in the prison library. The forms may depend from state to state and the type of divorce you want to file. You can also consult competent divorce lawyers or a jailhouse lawyer about more details.

Once you already found out the forms you will need, you should complete the divorce forms and submit to the family court and pay the necessary filing fee. You may be asked to submit the paperwork to the incarcerated spouse or the court will do it on your behalf.

If you have to do the former, you can requires the local sheriff to submit it or via mail. Regardless of the method, your incarcerated spouse should receive a copy of the divorce papers. It is also important to include your spouse’s inmate number on the divorce papers as well.

Wait for the spouse’s response

Once your spouse in jail has already received the divorce paper, you would have to wait for his or her response. The spouse may either agree, contest, or ignore the papers. If the incarcerated spouse agrees with the divorce, both parties won’t have to appear in court during the hearing unless there are properties and children involved.

On the other hand, both spouses need to appear in court if the incarcerated spouse contests the divorce. When the spouse ignores the papers, the court may decide on the outcome of the case depending on the number of days elapsed. In some cases, the court may grant that the marriage is already dissolved legally through a judgment of divorce.

In this kind of divorce case, it is important to hire reputable family lawyers to help you with your legal concerns. For your divorce-related problems, contact top-rated divorce lawyers in Fairfax VA.