Generally, if you want to get a divorce in texas, texas, texas, texas, texas texas texasTexas, 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 will follow the same path as anyone else’s.
While every divorce has its frustrating parts, you can at least know that if you want to get a divorce, you can get one without much fuss.
What happens, though, if your spouse is in jail? You may have lost touch with them, 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, PLLC, would like to walk you through the process of divorcing your spouse when they are 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 divorcedivorce.
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 be uncontested indeed.
You would be able to hire an attorney to represent you and your interests in the divorce, and, likely, your spouse would not hire an attorney of their own. Your attorney would file an Original Petition for Divorce in the county where you all reside, just as anyone else 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 their right to be served with divorce papers. It is easiest to mail these documents to your spouse and have them 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 will 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 it with the county clerk 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 of your Divorce Decree to make sure it considers 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 briefly discuss 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 them with a copy of the Original Petition and a Citation that specifies the deadline for filing an Answer.
Your spouse may 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 divorce decree are worked out.
Mediation is also an option if your spouse can 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 them. Your spouse has until the first Monday after the expiration of twenty days from the day they were served with your Petition to file an Answer.
If they fail 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, PLLC
While it is never a desirable situation to have your spouse be imprisoned, that does not mean you need to put your divorce plans on hold until their release. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, 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:
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Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Houston, Texas Divorce Lawyers
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it’s essential to speak with one of our Houston, TX, Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
Our divorce lawyers inin Houston, TX, are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, 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.