No one who gets married expects to get a divorce, but it is a fact of life for so many couples. Add to that, a spouse who becomes incarcerated during the relationship can really make married life extra challenging. Unfortunately, married couples who face one spouse entering a jail sentence are more common than a lot of people realize.
Due to this impending or ongoing incarceration, one or both spouses may decide moving on from the marriage is in their best interest. But, can you divorce someone in prison or do you have to wait until their sentence is complete?
Can You Divorce Someone in Jail in North Carolina?
You can absolutely divorce someone serving jail time in North Carolina. Spending time in jail will not negatively impact your right to a Judgment of Divorce.
How Do You Divorce Someone in Jail?
In North Carolina, 2 criteria must be met before a divorce can be granted.
- You must have lived separate from your spouse for at least 1 full calendar year before filing a Summons and Divorce Complaint. This includes at least one spouse living separate with the intent of becoming permanent.
- You must have lived in NC at least 6 months prior to filing a Summons and Divorce Complaint.
You will have to serve your spouse with a copy of the Summons and Divorce Complaint. This may be the most challenging part of the process. In order to properly serve your spouse, you may need to contact the prison to determine if there are special needs to be met to have your spouse served in jail. Most often, mailing or having the Sheriff’s Department deliver the Summons and Complaint will be sufficient.
Your spouse will have a 30 day period to file their response with a Clerk of Court. After the period of response ends, you can then seek a hearing before a judge.
Can Someone IN Jail File for Divorce?
Actually, YES, this is possible. There are difficulties from attempting to file a divorce from prison but it can be done. Several steps must be taken to get the process started.
Just like a standard divorce, filing from jail requires serving your spouse with a Summons and Divorce Complaint. You will need to speak with the prison’s legal representation to arrange for serving the papers. But, this can sometimes prove difficult and you may need help from a legal, adult friend who can serve the papers to your spouse. After serving and filing your Summons, arrangements for attending a divorce hearing will need to be made.
Make sure to speak with the legal support within the prison to find out the exact details and requirements to file from prison in North Carolina.
Need Help Filing for Divorce Due to an Incarceration?
Having a spouse who is in jail doesn’t mean that you are stuck in a bad situation. Our divorce attorneys can help you through the process of divorcing a jailed spouse in North Carolina. Give our Raleigh Divorce Law Firm a call or complete the form below to schedule a consultation with an experienced divorce lawyer.