Can I Divorce My Incarcerated Spouse in New Jersey?

Bergen County NJ Divorce Attorneys

Anyone who is facing a divorce understands that divorce is a complex situation. Divorce is challenging for all parties involved, and even more so if one spouse is incarcerated. When a spouse is seeking a divorce from an incarcerated spouse, the state of New Jersey has a unique process that requires different navigation than a typical divorce. To learn more about what to expect when going through a divorce with an incarcerated spouse in New Jersey, continue reading and reach out to our experienced New Jersey divorce attorney for assistance.

When can I file?

A spouse can site certain grounds for the reason that their marriage is coming to an end when filing for divorce. Incarceration is a ground for a fault divorce. A spouse can file for divorce on the grounds of imprisonment if their spouse has been in prison or jail for a minimum of 18 months. The spouse must provide the incarcerated spouse with notice by serving them a copy of the divorce complaint. They must also notify the prison officials if the court allows the incarcerated spouse to appear in court.

What do I need to file?

There are several documents that are required when filing for divorce including the petition for divorce, the summons of the incarcerated spouse, and a court information sheet. Once each of these three documents is filed, the proceedings will go similarly to a regular divorce, the only difference being that the incarcerated spouse may not be able to attend the court hearings.

What can I expect during this process?

The following steps must be implemented in order for the divorce of an incarcerated spouse to be official:

  1. Obtain incarcerated spouse divorce forms or standard divorce forms from family court
  2. Request a copy of the spouse’s mittimus from the criminal court they were convicted in
  3. Submit the divorce filing with the mittimus and filing fee
  4. At least one hearing will then take place. The court will decide if the incarcerated spouse will attend
  5. Secure a copy of the final divorce decree from the family court once it is finalized

If you have any further questions regarding this process, do not hesitate to reach out to our experienced New Jersey divorce attorney.

Contact our experienced Bergen County firm

At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our attorneys have extensive experience helping clients to understand and protect their legal rights before, during, and after the divorce process in towns across New Jersey and Bergen County, including Hackensack, Ridgewood, Paramus, Teaneck, and Fort Lee. To speak with our team of divorce lawyers today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your concerns about your divorce, please contact us online, or through our Hackensack, NJ office at (201) 397-1750.

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