Divorcing an Incarcerated Spouse in New Jersey | What You Need to Know

criminal record

Divorce, on its own, is complicated. However, if your spouse is incarcerated, the divorce process can become even more confusing, which is why you must read on and reach out to our experienced Red Bank divorce attorney today to learn more about the process ahead, and how we can help you through it. Here are some of the questions you may have:

When can I file for divorce in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, there are various grounds you may cite for divorce; one of those grounds is having a spouse who has been incarcerated for at least 18 months. If your spouse has been in prison or jail for 18 months, you may file for divorce on the grounds of imprisonment, however, you will first have to notify your spouse of the divorce by serving them a complaint for divorce. When doing so, you will also have to inform prison officials, should the court decide that the incarcerated spouse may appear in court.

What do I need to file for divorce?

New Jersey law requires you to file several documents when divorcing an incarcerated spouse, such as a petition for divorce, the summons of your incarcerated spouse, a court information sheet, and more. From here, divorce proceedings will resume roughly the same as regular divorces, though your spouse, depending on his or her circumstances, may not be allowed to attend the court hearings. If you can agree on your divorce terms, you will file an uncontested divorce, however, if you do not, you will file a contested divorce and go through the litigation process.

What is the divorce process like?

To divorce your incarcerated spouse, you will do the following:

  1. Obtain and file divorce forms specifically for incarcerated spouses, or obtain and file standard divorce forms from the family court.
  2. Next, you should obtain a copy of your spouse’s mittimus from the criminal court.
  3. From here, you will submit the divorce filing with the mittimus and filing fee.
  4. Next, you will attend at least one court hearing, wherein the court will decide whether your incarcerated spouse can be transported from jail/prison to attend the proceedings.
  5. Finally, you will obtain a copy of the final divorce decree from the family court.

If you have any additional questions about the road ahead, please do not hesitate to speak with our knowledgeable New Jersey family law attorney today.

Contact our experienced Red Bank firm

Our firm proudly represents clients in New Jersey who are faced with matters of family law, criminal defense, business law, real estate law, or estate planning. If you require strong and dedicated representation for any of your legal matters, please do not hesitate to contact The Law Offices of George J. Mardinly to schedule a consultation.