Close Menu
Orlando Family & Divorce Lawyer
Call for a Confidential Consultation Hablamos Español

Can You File For Divorce If Your Spouse Is In Jail?


If your spouse has been arrested, charged with a crime, or put in jail during your marriage, you might wonder, “Can I file for divorce while my spouse is in jail?” Not all spouses are willing to wait for their spouse’s release from jail.

Regardless of why your spouse has been put in jail, incarceration can take a toll on your marriage, which is why it is perfectly normal to wonder if you can get a divorce while your spouse is in jail.

If your spouse has been charged with a crime or incarcerated and you are considering filing for divorce, consult with an attorney. While it is possible to get a divorce while your spouse is in jail, doing so can be complicated.

That is why you need to speak with an Orlando divorce attorney to find out everything you need to know about filing for divorce when your spouse is incarcerated. An attorney will help you understand your rights and assist you with navigating the process.

How to Divorce an Incarcerated Spouse in Florida?

One of the requirements of filing for divorce in Florida is serving your spouse. However, since your spouse is serving their sentence, you will have to get the address of the jail where your spouse is incarcerated to serve divorce papers.

Once your spouse receives a copy of your divorce petition and other documents, they will have to file a response. Under Florida law, the Respondent has 20 days to respond to their spouse’s petition for divorce. If no response is filed, the Petitioner can proceed with filing for a default divorce.

If your incarcerated spouse responds to the petition, you will have to negotiate a settlement agreement. If no settlement is reached, your case may go to court. However, since your spouse is in jail, they may participate in court hearings via Skype or telephone.

The process of divorcing an incarcerated spouse is rather straightforward as long as the marriage does not involve children.

Divorcing an Incarcerated Spouse When You Have Children

Things get more complicated when your divorce involves children and your spouse is in jail. Under Florida law, parents must work out a parenting plan in order to finalize their divorce. Typically, parents participate in parenting classes or mediation to agree on a parenting plan.

However, parenting classes and mediation may not be possible for an incarcerated spouse, which is why the court may waive the requirement. It goes without saying that an incarcerated parent will not be able to obtain custody of their children.

If your spouse is in jail, they do not automatically lose their parental rights as they may still be able to obtain custody after their release.

Contact an Orlando Divorce Attorney

If you are considering divorcing your incarcerated spouse, there are many other things to consider before filing for divorce when your spouse is in jail. Schedule a case evaluation with our divorce attorneys at Donna Hung Law Group to discuss how you can divorce your incarcerated spouse in Florida. Call 407-999-0099 to get a consultation.