The California divorce process remains the same whether a spouse is in jail or not. California does not offer special privileges or treat the incarcerated spouse differently than a non-incarcerated spouse during the divorce process. With this in mind, you must work with the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to serve the divorce documents on your incarcerated spouse. Service of documents would include any restraining orders, motions or other paperwork related to the divorce. Read on to learn how to file for divorce in California and how to serve divorce documents on incarcerated spouse.
Get help Filing Divorce and Serving Incarcerated Spouse!
In order to get a divorce in California, you or your spouse must have lived in California for the past six months before filing for divorce. Also, you or your spouse must have lived in the County where you want to file for divorce for at least the three months before. Once you meet these requirements, you can file for divorce. Ordinarily, barring any unforeseen complications, you can get a judgment after six months from the date you serve your spouse with the summons and petition. Keep in mind, however, your spouse can defend his interest in the divorce even though he or she is incarcerated and in jail.
How to Serve Divorce Documents on Incarcerated Spouse
To serve divorce documents on incarcerated spouse, you must work with the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. They will help to serve the divorce documents. Before serving the paperwork, contact the facility where your spouse is incarcerated. In particular, ask the name and address of the person who will be serving the documents.
Documents required to serve divorce on incarcerated person:
- Two copies of all filed papers with the court
- Proof of service form
- Self-addressed stamped envelope
- A cover letter asking that the facility serve the incarcerated spouse and that they complete and return the “Proof of Service” to you to file with the court. If there is a hearing set, you will need to give the server the hearing date, court department, and time of the court hearing.
Once you gather the above-documents, send everything to the facility that is serving your spouse.
Next, once you receive confirmation of service, make a copy of the original proof of service and file the original document with the court.
If you need to find an inmate, you can use the following resources:
- California Dept. of Corrections: Phone (916) 445-6713 (need date of birth or prisoner number).
- Federal Bureau of Prisons: Phone (202) 307-3126
What Happens After Incarcerated Spouse is Served?
Of course, the facility serves your spouse, he/she has thirty days to respond to the divorce petition. If he/she does not respond, you can ask the court to enter a default judgment. If your spouse does respond, the divorce process will continue to trial in the same way as other divorces. In this regard, the court may schedule future court dates further out to allow the incarcerated spouse time to file the required paperwork and make any necessary appearances in court.
Contact A People’s Choice for more information about how to serve divorce documents on incarcerated spouse. We can help you draft the documents you need to file for divorce and help you arrange to serve your spouse. Call us today at 800-747-1780.
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