Normally if you want to get a divorce in Texas you follow the procedures in filing and obtaining a divorce that everybody else does. Sure, your divorce will have components and circumstances that make it stand out from the others but for the most part, the process is going to follow the same path as anyone else’s.
While every divorce has it’s frustrating parts you can at least know that if you want to get a divorce then you can get one without much fuss.
What happens though if your spouse is in jail? You may have lost touch with him or her and their ability to attend things like hearings and mediations will likely be limited due to their being incarcerated. Is there a way to even get divorced from an imprisoned person?
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan would like to walk you through the process of divorcing your spouse when he or she is in prison. Our office has represented clients who have been in this position and we would like to share how the process works.
An uncontested divorce makes life easier for all parties involved
It may be that you and your spouse are in communication with one another and you all agree that a divorce is the best option for your family. If you all not only agree to get a divorce but agree on all the issues that encompass a divorce then you have what is known as an uncontested divorce.
This means that all issues regarding your children including possession, access, visitation, and support would need to have been agreed to. A division of your marital estate including property and debts is necessary for the divorce to truly be uncontested.
You would be able to hire an attorney to represent you and your interests in the divorce and it is likely then that your spouse would not hire an attorney of his or her own. Your attorney would file an Original Petition for Divorce in the county where you all reside just as anyone else who was filing for divorce would do. The differences between your divorce and a typical divorce start here. A Waiver of Service would be prepared by your attorney wherein your spouse can agree to waive his or her right to be served with divorce papers. It is easiest to mail these documents to your spouse and have him or her sign and return them to your attorney.
As soon as the paperwork is signed and returned to your lawyer an Agreed Final Decree of Divorce would be prepared to encompass all the parts of your divorce that are relevant. You and your attorney would review the document together and make sure it reflects the agreement that you and your spouse reached.
Once it does, you will sign and it will be forwarded to your spouse for their review. Your spouse has the right at any point to hire an attorney to review the Decree if that is what they want. Once the document is signed by your spouse, your attorney will sign it and file with the clerk of the county in which your divorce is situated.
One important thing to remember is that in Texas a divorce can (in most circumstances) only be completed once sixty days have elapsed since the time of the filing of your Original Petition to when you arrive at court for a Prove Up Hearing. A Prove Up Hearing is an opportunity for the judge to give a final review to your Divorce Decree to make sure it takes into account all the parts of a divorce agreement in Texas.
Your attorney will ask you some basic questions to identify yourself, your spouse and your children (if any) and to discuss in brief the agreements that you and your spouse have come to. The judge will grant your divorce on that day. Signed copies of your Divorce Decree will usually be ready within a week or so.
What if your divorce becomes contested?
Instead of having your spouse sign a Wavier of Service as we discussed earlier, a contested divorce needs a process server to pick up the paperwork from the courthouse after filing. Once the paperwork is ready, the process server will seek out your spouse and formally serve him or her with a copy of the Original Petition as well as a Citation which specifies the deadline for filing an Answer.
It is possible that your spouse will file an Answer at which time your attorney can attempt to communicate with your spouse directly or their attorney if one has been hired. If an agreement can be reached informally then temporary orders can be agreed to while the terms of a final decree of divorce are worked out.
Mediation is an option as well in the event that your spouse is able to be away from jail or prison for a few hours.
Another option to conclude your divorce is if your spouse fails to file an Answer or otherwise make an appearance before the court you can get a default judgment against him or her. Your spouse has until the first Monday after the expiration of twenty days from the day he or she was served with your Petition to file an Answer.
If he or she fails to do so you may seek a default judgment by arriving at court on the sixty-first day after filing your Petition with a Final Decree of Divorce signed by you and your attorney.
Questions about divorcing an imprisoned spouse? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan
While it is never a desirable situation to have your spouse be imprisoned, that does not mean you need to put your plans of a divorce on hold until his or her release. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan can help you through this process in a timely fashion. To have your questions answered by one of our licensed family lawattorneys please do not hesitate to contact our office today for a free of charge consultation.
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Other Articles you may be interested in:
- Getting a divorce in Texas when your spouse is in jail
- Do I have to bring Evidence to a Default Judgment Hearing in Texas?
- What does a Default Judgment Mean in a Texas Divorce?
- Is Adultery a Crime in Texas?
- When is, Cheating Considered Adultery in a Texas Divorce?
- Sex, Lies, Rock-and-roll, and Adultery in a Texas Divorce
- Can I Sue My Spouse for Mental Abuse in My Texas Divorce?
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- 6 things You Need to Know Before You File for Divorce in Texas
- Texas Divorce Morality Clause: Be Careful What You Ask For
- What does Insupportability or No-Fault in a Texas Divorce Mean?
- The Simplified Process for an Uncontested Divorce in Texas
- Explaining the Contested Divorce Process in Texas
Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Houston, Texas Divorce Lawyers
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it's important to speak with one of our Houston, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
Our divorce lawyers in Houston TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan handles divorce cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, Houston, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.