How to Obtain a Divorce in Norfolk if Your Spouse Is in Prison

Jail House HallwayYour Virginia divorce can be more complicated if your spouse is incarcerated in prison. However, you should still be able to get divorced. Here’s what you need to know about how to divorce your incarcerated spouse.

Incarceration Can Be Grounds for a Divorce in Virginia

You must either establish grounds for divorce or file a non-contested divorce in Virginia. One ground for an immediate divorce is that your spouse has been convicted of a felony. To qualify for an at-fault divorce, you would need to show the following:

  • Your spouse was convicted of a felony.
  • They were sentenced to more than a year in prison.
  • You have not cohabitated with them since you learned of their conviction. If they have been released from prison, you also cannot have lived with them after their release.

Payment of Guardian Ad Litem Fees

Under Virginia law, a person incarcerated for over a year is considered a disabled person. Unlike other divorces, the court must appoint a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) to represent your spouse in your divorce. A GAL is a licensed attorney appointed to represent your partner’s interests and rights.

The GAL will need to be served with the divorce complaint and other pleadings on behalf of your spouse. Once you have served the Guardian at Litem with the complaint, your divorce will proceed like other divorces in Virginia.

Payment of Guardian ad Litem Fees

You would be responsible for paying the GAL fees in most cases. However, you may be able to get the fees waived if your spouse was convicted of assaulting, injuring, or sexually abusing you or a child.

Contact Tavss Fletcher for the Legal Assistance You Need

Do you want to file a divorce in Norfolk or Virginia Beach? Is your spouse incarcerated? Our experienced family law attorneys can answer your questions and help make the process of divorcing your partner go as smoothly as possible. Call our Norfolk office at 757-625-1214 or complete our convenient online form to schedule your free initial consultation today to learn more about your rights and how we can assist you.

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