How to File for Divorce If Your Husband Is in Jail

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Marriage is a right that is governed by law. Dissolution of marriage is a legal remedy that is available to everyone, regardless of personal circumstances. You can file for divorce if your husband is in jail.

Organize your documentation. You will need to show proof for all physical and financial assets you own solely or jointly with your husband. If you don't specifically name assets in the divorce petition, you run the risk of losing the opportunity to maintain or recapture legal ownership.

Obtain the divorce petition papers at your city or county clerk's office.

You are not required to retain a lawyer in order to file the divorce papers, although a lawyer can be helpful in explaining the process or answering questions. You can file the divorce papers on your own at your city or county clerk's office.

When you go to file your divorce papers, provide the location of the jail where your husband is incarcerated. Even if you don't know, provide as much information as you can and authorities will locate him for you.

Once all information has been received, papers will be served to your husband. Serving of the divorce papers is not a guarantee of divorce; you must see the process through.


  • Incarceration does not forfeit one's rights to counsel. Once the papers are served to your husband, he can retain legal counsel before responding. There is a chance that he may not agree with your petition for divorce.


  • Think about the rights you and your husband will jointly maintain after the divorce (i.e. property, custody or alimony). These rights will need to be included in the divorce petition. Research the divorce laws of your state. Be sure that you are following the correct procedure.

About the Author

Shemiah Williams has been writing for various websites since 2009 and also writes for "Parle Magazine." She holds a bachelor's degree in business and technology and a master's degree in clinical psychology. Williams serves as a subject matter expert in many areas of health, relationships and professional development.