If you have a spouse who is an inmate in a prison and wish to divorce them, there is a process you must go through. Divorcing someone who is incarcerated can cost you a lot of money if you don’t know what you are doing. By learning about this process, you can legally separate yourself from your partner for good.

  1. Visit Your Local Clerk

The first thing you must do is visit the clerk at your local family court so you can find out which forms you need to fill out. There will be at least one document that you will have to fill out and submit.

  1. Get Your Spouse’s Mittimus

Next you will have to get a copy of the mittimus, which is the paperwork that basically states your spouse was put in prison or jail. You will be required to submit this document with the other divorce paperwork for it to go through without any issues.

  1. Submit the Documents

After you have obtained the mittimus and filled out the required paperwork, you will need to file it at your local family court. The court that you file these documents at needs to be in the same county that you live in. When you go to file the paperwork, you will be required to pay a filing fee. The amount of this fee will depend entirely on where you live. Don’t forget to attach your spouse’s jail documentation paperwork.

  1. Hire a Lawyer if Necessary

If your incarcerated spouse refuses to sign the divorce papers, you may have to hire a lawyer. While it’s fairly rare that a person must do this, you still need to find out by doing some research. Your local county clerk will be able to help you look up these laws if you are not familiar with them.

  1. Get a Copy of the Divorce Decree

You should get a copy of the official divorce decree from your local family court. Make sure that you keep it in a safe and secure place at all times. There is a chance that you will need this document in the future for something, especially if you have kids. This decree is the result of the court’s final ruling on your divorce. It basically says that you and your ex-partner are no longer legally married.


  • Make sure that you get legal advice from a lawyer before starting this process. You should be able to get a free or low-cost consultation from a local divorce lawyer. This will ensure that you don’t make any mistakes that you will regret later on.
  • If you have decided that you want to divorce your spouse, it is important to get started immediately. The sooner you start going through this process, the sooner it will all be over and done with.


If your spouse contests the divorce, they may send a lawyer to court to represent them if they cannot be there in person.