Can I file my own divorce papers if my husband is in jail? 32 Answers as of June 11, 2013

I was married on April 28th 2009. Two weeks later my husband was arrested. We have been separated since. I now want to end the marriage. My friend filled out his divorce papers online for free. Would I be able to fill out my own divorce papers with my husband being in jail?

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Michael Rose Attorney at Law
Michael Rose Attorney at Law | Michael Rose
You have a short term marriage. Get the paperwork and file. Contact some firms that will do only the paperwork. The divorce paperwork has to be severed to your husband in jail. Each jail has their rules on serving.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/16/2011
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
Yes, but I have seen people struggle with technical shortfalls when filing by themselves, spending money twice: once online for documents and then again on a lawyer. You should consult with a local attorney. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 5/5/2011
Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
If your husband is not going to contest the divorce you can prepare papers for an uncontested divorce and then have you husband sign an affidavit. if he is going to contest the divorce then he has to be served with papers at the jail or court. You should hire an attorney if it will be a contested divorce.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/4/2011
Law Office of Curry & Westgate
Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
Yes, you can file for divorce no matter where your ex is located.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/3/2011
Law Office of Phillip Weiser
Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
Yes, you can do this on your own, and have your husband served while he is in custody.
Answer Applies to: Kansas
Replied: 5/3/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    Yes. It may be a little more difficult to have him served the paperwork if he isn't willing to cooperate, but the fact that he is jail doesn't prevent the case from going forward.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/3/2011
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    Yes you can file for divorce while he is in jail, but You must have him served with the papers so he can respond.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 5/3/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    Go to the courthouse where you live and there should be people there to assist you.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/2/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    Yes, you can. However, service upon him in jail may be a little more difficult without an attorney. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/2/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    You will have a problem getting service on someone in the military or in jail. If there is not money, assets, children, or visitation to negotiate you may be able to get a default divorce without an attorney but it is risky, difficult, and may cause you more trouble in the long run. Try Neighborhood Legal Services or other pro bono legal organizations who sometimes represent indigent people.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/2/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    A divorce can be filed even when one of the parties is incarcerated. The divorce papers can be served through the Sheriff's office and the Department of Corrections.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 4/30/2011
    Beard Law Group, P.C.
    Beard Law Group, P.C. | Christopher Beard
    You can fill out your own divorce papers; however, pay close attention to the court requirements of the county in which you reside. If you are filing an uncontested divorce, your husband must agree to the terms and sign accordingly. Otherwise, the divorce will be much more complex. Typically, in our jurisdiction, you can have an attorney prepare and file your uncontested divorce for around $500 + filing fees.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/2/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    Any person has a right to represent themselves. You could also perform your own dental surgery if you chose to do so.There can be complications with securing a divorce especially when one of the parties is incarcerated. My suggestion would be that you secure counsel to do this for you.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/2/2011
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    Yes. The fact that your husband is in jail does not insulate him from divorce proceedings. Go to the Court and purchase a set of divorce forms -the clerk may have a package of divorce (Dissolution of Marriage) forms. You may seek assistance from the Court's self-help clinic - find out from the clerk where and when you can obtain such assistance. Your greatest hurdle will be getting your husband served while he is in jail. Contact the jail to find out their procedures for serving an inmate, and ask the jail personnel to advise you which process servers have served inmates at that jail - and get the contact information of those process servers, choose one, follow its instructions, and have your husband served. What you need to do for the balance of the divorce case will be based upon whether or not your husband files a Response to your Petition within30 days after he is served. Deal with the self-help clinic regarding how to proceed if your husband files a Response or fails to file a Response.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/30/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    Yes, you can file them and have them served to him while he is in jail. You could have him served via certified mail in jail or by process server.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/30/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts | Andrew Stephen Roberts
    Yes you can. Why not get the marriage annulled?
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/2/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    We are The Goolsby Law Firm, LLC located in Augusta, Georgia. Yes, you can get a divorce if your spouse is in jail. Of course, I would recommend that you retain a divorce attorney to help you with preparing all the necessary documents and addressing all the issues. I would be wary about any so-called "free" documents online. There are divorce lawyers out there, including us, who handle uncontested divorces at very affordable rates. I recommend you hire one in your area ASAP! Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 4/30/2011
    The Law Offices of Dustan Neyland
    The Law Offices of Dustan Neyland | Dustan Neyland
    It is possible for you to do your own divorce using online forms, however, with the situation that you are in with your husband being in jail, it would be advisable to contact an attorney to do the divorce. If your husband is agreeable to the divorce, there are many attorneys who will help you do a divorce like this for a reasonable, flat fee.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 4/30/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    Yes, you can.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/11/2013
    The Law Offices of Victor J Mazzaraco
    The Law Offices of Victor J Mazzaraco | Victor J Mazzaraco
    The e-z legal file program for filing court papers and the programs similar to it are great at leading you through to the completion process. If you start completing the paperwork online you can save it and get back to it at a later date. And by answering the questions it asks you answer the questions like the one you ask here. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/2/2011
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    Yes, you can always represent yourself. However, I never recommend it.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/1/2011
    The Woods Law Firm
    The Woods Law Firm | F.W. Woods Jr.
    South Carolina counties discourage filing papers pro se for any other papers except agreements. Since your husband is in jail you will have to follow the rules for serving him there. It is best to hire a good lawyer to represent you.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 5/2/2011
    Law Offices of Scott G. Hilderman
    Law Offices of Scott G. Hilderman | Scott G. Hilderman
    Yes you can represent yourself pro se.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 5/2/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    Sure.Then you will need to serve your husband and then you will need to get the final paperwork done.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/2/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    Yes. However, most people need legal help with such a case. If you cant afford to hire an attorney, at least hire a document preparation service local to you. Check them out to find a competent one that is reasonably priced.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/1/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Depends on the type of papers you want to file. I would suggest that you contact the family law facilitator at the court house.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    Naziri Hanassab LLP
    Naziri Hanassab LLP | Vahid Naziri
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/11/2013
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    Yes you can. But you will have to have someone other than you serve the papers on him. An easy way to do this is to wait for a court date and have a friend hand it to him there (ask the Judge's permission or the Bailiff's permission first. Do NOT have your new boyfriend serve him. That would be a very bad idea.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/1/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    In my area, you can file (there is no requirement that the husband file), however you cannot file online and you likely cannot file for free. If you are looking for an attorney and are in my area, please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/2/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    You can proceed with your divorce via default. Have your husband served with the divorce petition and related papers in jail. Then, file all the proper paperwork to finish your case via default. You can get help with the default process from the legal self help center at your local courthouse, or hire a local family law lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/2/2011
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