I’m in Jail and I Was Served Divorce Papers; What Can I Do?

Sometimes, you get kicked when you’re down.

That’s what it feels like to be served with divorce papers while you’re in jail or prison.

You’ve just gone through probably the most difficult period in your life, being convicted of a crime. Then, your spouse divorces you when you’re locked up.

Not a good spot to be in.

Most people who are served in jail end up doing nothing about their divorce. They believe there’s nothing they can do, so they don’t even respond to the divorce complaint.

And when you don’t respond in time to a divorce complaint, you default, which means your spouse gets everything he or she requested in the paperwork.

But what can you do from jail? How can you fight and be an active participant in your divorce?

It’s not easy, but here are some ideas:

  1. You can represent yourself.

This is the worst idea ever. There’s no way you can represent yourself in your divorce from jail and do anything but lose. Don’t do this.

  1. You can try to find an attorney from jail to represent you.

This is a bit better than trying to represent yourself, but not much. It’s almost impossible to find an attorney while you’re in jail, communicate with that attorney, and hire him or her. The logistics are just too hard. Not the best option.

  1. You can give a family member a power of attorney and let that person find and hire an attorney for you.

This is the only way I’ve ever seen anyone in jail be successful in their divorce. A power of attorney allows someone to do things and make decisions for you. When you give someone you trust a power of attorney, you allow that person to find a good attorney to help protect your interests. With an attorney by your side, you can be successful in your divorce, even from jail.

Bottom Line

If you’re in jail and you get served, you need an attorney, otherwise you will almost certainly lose everything. Giving someone you trust a power of attorney is the best way to get the help you need in finding the right attorney for you.

Call Brown Family Law

If you find yourself facing a Utah divorce, please call 801.685.9999 for an in-person consultation, or use our online scheduling tool.

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