Can you get a divorce if your spouse is in prison?

Can you get a divorce if your spouse is in prison?

On Behalf of | Mar 13, 2023 | Divorce

At the outset, you most likely thought that your Michigan marriage would last forever, but circumstances can change and you may want a divorce. If your spouse is incarcerated, it can make things even more complex.

Divorcing a spouse who’s in prison

You can get a divorce from a spouse who is in prison, but there are caveats. Even while they are incarcerated, if your spouse doesn’t want to end the marriage and disagrees with the split, you may have an uphill battle. This would be considered a contested divorce, which causes problems.

If you and your spouse agree on getting divorced while they’re in prison, things will be easier for you. Your divorce will proceed much faster even with your spouse incarcerated.

You might have a longer wait time

In some cases, if your spouse contests the divorce, they can maintain their rights. Even while they are incarcerated, they still have the right to participate in divorce proceedings. Depending on the nature of their incarceration and how much time they have left, this could take months or years. In some cases, they might be able to request prison leave time to attend your divorce proceedings. However, there is no guarantee that this will happen.

Other factors that can complicate matters when you want to divorce your incarcerated spouse are children that the two of you have. If this is the case, they will probably still want to keep their parental rights. This means that even though they are in prison, you will have to agree on child custody arrangements.

If you and your spouse end up agreeing on divorce, they might be able to request leave from prison to go to court. The chances of this happening might be better when you have children because of the urgency of custody hearings.