Your first step in serving your spouse with divorce, when he/she is incarcerated, is to make sure that the divorce petition is correct. If an incorrect petition is used for service then it will likely get rejected by the court. Once this happens, the petition will need to be amended and re-served.
When you are sure that the petition is correct, it is time to determine which facility is housing your spouse. A Google search will usually allow you to locate the facility. Once the facility is located, it’s best to call and ask how they will accept service.
In most cases the facility has a procedure for service already in place. This usually involves mailing the service packet to the appropriate address in the facility. A designated person will typically serve the inmate. This designated person will then mail back the ‘proof of service’ which needs to be filed with the court. A stamped return envelope should be provided with the service packet to ensure that you will get the ‘proof of service’ back from the facility.
Remember, your divorce begins on the date your spouse is served, not when you file. The ‘proof of service’ is very important and the original must be filed with the court. Once served, your spouse has 30 days to ‘respond’. When your spouse does not ‘respond,’ a default can be entered.
When you wish to file for divorce in California, give us a call @ 1-800-HELP-444. Our expert divorce lawyers will make sure that the divorce documents are prepared correctly and that the service is accomplished quickly and professionally even when the spouse is incarcerated. You’ll also like our affordable rates!