Will he miss the court hearing if he's in jail?
Marriages fail all the time for various reasons, and sometimes that reason is the incarceration of one partner. If your husband was arrested and sent to jail, you have a decision to make. You might decide the best thing you can do for your family is stand by the man you love. You might also make the decision to leave. Perhaps what he did was appalling and horrible, and you can’t stand the idea of being married to a man who commits crimes. Perhaps you thought you would make it work, but it’s been too much of a challenge. If you decide to divorce a man who is currently incarcerated, what happens when you both have to appear before a judge?
Incarceration and Divorce
The situation works the same way it does outside court in terms of the response. You are given a predetermined number of days to respond to the divorce petition filed by your spouse. You must either sign the paper and agree to all the terms outlined by your spouse, or you must respond with your own demands and make changes to the issues outlined in the paperwork.
If your spouse is in jail when the papers are served, he still has the same number of days to respond. If he doesn’t send a response in that time, he is going to find the judge grants you all you want in the divorce by default. If you assume your spouse will not get the paperwork in jail, you are incorrect. It is served to him in a timely fashion, and he does have the legal right to respond.
Your spouse doesn’t have the right to attend your divorce hearings when they are scheduled if he is incarcerated. That doesn’t mean he cannot attend them, however. If your spouse decides to ask for permission to attend the hearings, it’s sometimes granted. There is no guarantee your spouse is going to receive this kind of permission. It typically depends on how long he is in jail, what he did, and the terms of his or her imprisonment.
There are also other options. Your spouse might be able to arrange to be present at the hearing by telephone. This is something the court might allow if there are kids involved in the divorce and your spouse wants to be present to avoid having his parental rights taken from him despite his incarceration. If you are asking to terminate the rights of your spouse’s relationship with your kids, he must be present. His attorney must be present with him, and the court cannot proceed without him in attendance.
Calling an attorney is the best way to go about handling a divorce with a man in jail. If he is incarcerated, it does change things a little. You want to ensure the situation is as smooth and simple as possible, and this means you want to be sure you’re doing the right thing by your family. Make sure you do things correctly so you don’t end up losing out on what you want or need in the divorce process. Your attorney can help you file the necessary paperwork and even handle the details regarding hearings and your incarcerated spouse and his right to attend hearings.