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My Spouse Went To Prison – Is That Grounds for a Divorce?

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Factors in a Divorce Case

Learn how different circumstances can impact a divorce. Choose from any of the topics below.

  • A Locked-Up Spouse Won’t Lock You Down
  • Can Marriages Survive Incarceration?
  • How Do You Serve Your Imprisoned Spouse With a Divorce?
  • What Happens if One Spouse Doesn’t Want a Divorce?
  • Speak With a Legal Paraprofessional Regarding a Divorce


A Locked-up Spouse Won’t Lock You Down

In the state of Arizona, if your spouse has been convicted of a felony offense or is currently serving time in prison, you may qualify for an immediate divorce without having to wait the mandatory waiting period.

However, if your spouse has not been convicted of a felony and is simply serving time, it may not be grounds for immediate divorce. In such cases, you may need to provide evidence and testimony of other reasons why the marriage should be dissolved.

Factors such as infidelity, abuse, and abandonment can also be considered when filing for divorce in Arizona. Ultimately, it is important to speak with an experienced family legal paraprofessional who can guide what options are available to you based on the particular circumstances of your case.

Can Marriages Survive Incarceration?

While it is difficult, a marriage can survive when one of the spouses is incarcerated.

It takes hard work and dedication from both spouses to make it work. Communication and trust are key components to making it through this tough time.

The spouse outside of prison needs to be understanding and supportive of their partner who is behind bars. They should also stay involved in their partner’s life by visiting them regularly, writing letters, or sending care packages.

Ultimately, if both spouses are willing to put in the effort and remain dedicated, then the marriage can survive incarceration.

How Do You Serve Your Imprisoned Spouse With a Divorce?

Serving your imprisoned spouse with a divorce in Arizona is relatively straightforward.

To start the divorce process, you must file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage in the same county where you were married or where one of you currently resides. You must then provide your spouse with a copy of the petition and all other required documents. Your spouse will have twenty days to respond once served.

If your spouse fails to respond, you may proceed with the divorce as if it were uncontested. You must also obtain an affidavit from the Arizona Department of Corrections verifying that your spouse is currently incarcerated and cannot appear in court for the hearing.

Once all necessary paperwork has been filed, a hearing will be scheduled.

The judge will enter a final decree of dissolution of marriage, thus officially severing all marital ties between you and your incarcerated spouse.

What Happens if One Spouse Doesn’t Want a Divorce?


In the state of Arizona, if one spouse does not want to move forward with a divorce, it is not easy to proceed. Generally, both parties must agree to the divorce for it to be finalized.

If one spouse is unwilling to dissolve the marriage, then the other party may have to take legal action.

The court may grant a divorce even if one spouse does not consent if certain criteria are met, such as abandonment or adultery. Legal advice must be sought so that an individual understands their rights and the process needed for the divorce to go ahead.

Additionally, alternative options such as mediation could help both parties come to a resolution without having to go through a lengthy and expensive court process.

Tip: If you are seeking information about a divorce, consider using a much more affordable alternative to a divorce lawyer and speak with a legal paraprofessional.

Stephanie Villalobos, LP

Speak With a Legal Paraprofessional Regarding a Divorce.

A step that can be taken if you see yourself facing challenges regarding getting a divorce while your spouse is incarcerated contact an experienced divorce paraprofessional at De Novo Law. The team of legal paraprofessionals will be able to concentrate on the case at hand.

Call us today at (480) 660-4414 to schedule your consultation.

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DISCLAIMER: The content of this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice.  De Novo Law, LLC and its Legal Paraprofessionals are not attorneys and are not authorized to provide legal advice or representation beyond the areas and scope of practice for which license is held.  The transmission or receipt of any electronic correspondence or information does not create a legal paraprofessional-client relationship.


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