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My Husband Is In Prison In Florida And I Want A Divorce. Does The Fact That He's In Prison Change The Way The Divorce Will Proceed?

If a spouse is in prison, you can still get a divorce, but you will need to work with the court so that some of the usual rules are waived. The fact that your husband is in prison is not a factor in asking the court for a divorce, since Florida is a no-fault divorce state.

In Florida, you have to provide an address for your spouse in order to file for divorce, and you can use the address of the prison. Your spouse also has to be served divorce papers, which can be done at the prison by either the sheriff or a private process server.

If you two have children, you will be required to attend a parenting class and possibly mediation in order to decide on a parenting plan. This normally must be done in person; however, many courts allow the incarcerated parent to attend an online class or will waive the requirement.

Child custody and child support are handled differently in a divorce when one parent is in prison. Obviously, while your husband is in prison he cannot obtain custody of the children. You will normally be awarded at least temporary custody. However, incarceration may not result in the termination of his parental rights. He may be entitled to seek custody after being released from prison - the judge will decide this on a case by case basis, depending on the ages of your children, why he is in prison, and how long his prison term is expected to be, among other factors.

While your husband is in prison, obviously he won’t be working and will not be able to pay child support. If you two own sufficient assets, the court may award you a larger share to compensate you for losing out on child support while he is in prison. He may not be required to pay child support while he is incarcerated, but may have to begin paying you once he’s released.

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