Incarceration as a Grounds for Divorce in New Jersey

It is possible in New Jersey to divorce an incarcerated couple; however, it is advisable to consult with a skilled attorney to help you in the process.

Incarceration as a Grounds for Divorce in New JerseyWhen a person decides to file for divorce in New Jersey, they know they are preparing for a process that causes much psychological, emotional, and financial stress. This stress can be increased when the person is filing for divorce from someone incarcerated; however, a great deal of relief can also come from dissolving a legal marriage to someone who is in prison, so they can open a new chapter in their life. Read on to learn more about divorcing someone who is imprisoned, and why it’s important to have a skilled and experienced New Jersey family law attorney on your side.

Is Incarceration Grounds For Divorce In New Jersey?

In the state of New Jersey, incarceration is grounds for divorce, with certain requisites. According to New Jersey law, if a person was sentenced to prison and has served at least 18 months after marriage, their spouse may legally file for divorce on the grounds of imprisonment. The procedure for divorce from an incarcerated person is different from that of two spouses who are not in a facility run by the NJ Department of Corrections. It is important to have a family law attorney facilitating this nuanced process.

What Is The Process Of Divorce Due To Incarceration?

As is the case in all divorce, the plaintiff – or person filing for divorce – must provide a copy of the Complaint for Divorce to their spouse, which in this case is the incarcerated individual.

The additional steps, however, differ from traditional divorce proceedings due to the situational nature of the divorce. Read on to learn about what the filing process is for divorcing an incarcerated individual, which is unlike more common divorce.

It is important to note that throughout the course of the divorce proceedings, the administration of the New Jersey corrections facility in which the spouse is serving their sentence must be kept informed of the proceedings; in certain cases, the spouse may be allowed to attend a court hearing.

What Papers Do I Need to File in Passaic County?

Even as far as the initial submission of the Complaint for Divorce, a commonality to initiate the process of legal dissolution of a marriage in New Jersey, the filing requirements and process take on a form outside of the common New Jersey divorce framework.

First, the divorcing spouse must approach the criminal court in which the incarcerated spouse was sentenced to obtain the mittimus or warrant for commitment to prison. This mittimus must be submitted with the Complaint for Divorce and the divorce filing fee. Upon submission of these documents, at least one divorce hearing will be held in the New Jersey Superior Court: Family Part. According to the permissions of the prison facility in which the spouse is serving their sentence, they may or may not be allowed to attend this hearing. When the divorce proceedings have concluded, the divorcing spouse must obtain the final divorce decree; it is advisable to provide a copy of this decree to the imprisoned ex-spouse through the administration of the prison facility.

How Can an Attorney Help Me Divorce a Spouse who is in Prison?

Family Law and Incarcerated Divorce Attorneys in Little Falls, NJIn a sensitive and non-traditional divorce format such as the divorce of someone who is incarcerated, it is essential to have the support of an experienced family law attorney on your side. First of all, a skilled attorney will help educate you as to the novel procedure of divorce from an incarcerated individual, as well as ensure that all legal requisites are met to carry out the divorce. Secondly, they will represent you to ensure that the ‘fair and equitable distribution of assets in the divorce promised by New Jersey divorce law provides you with your fair share in the divorce.

Just because your spouse isn’t present for the divorce proceedings does not mean that you are not entitled to the same rights in divorce as all New Jersey residents. As such, our divorce and family lawyers will help you negotiate terms of divorce with your incarcerated spouse, in which case an uncontested divorce will be filed. If your spouse does not agree with your proposed terms of the divorce and you can’t come to an agreement, an attorney from our team at The Montanari Law Group, LLC, will be essential to help you navigate a potentially conflict-ridden litigation process.

If you are considering filing for divorce because your spouse is incarcerated in NJ, get in touch with our Family Law and Divorce Attorneys today

Are you filing for divorce from your incarcerated spouse? It is necessary that you have a divorce attorney on your side to help you navigate this seemingly one-sided yet complicated process. At The Montanari Law Group, LLC, we are with you every step of the way to ensure that your rights are honored and you can move on with your next phase of life after finalizing your divorce in New Jersey.

If you are seeking help with divorce involving incarceration in Bergen County, Passaic County, Hudson County, Essex County, and Northern New Jersey towns such as Hawthorne, Clifton, Wayne, Hackensack, and Newark, contact us at (973) 233-4396 for a free consultation to discuss your divorce case and any concerns and questions you have.


To speak with one of our highly knowledgeable attorneys, contact us today at (973)-233-4396 or toll-free at (888)-877-7985. You can also complete the form below to begin your conversation. We are a personalized, boutique-style law firm that offers free initial consultations and flexible appointment options.