I have been married for 7 months and would like to file for divorce. My spouse is incarcerated and has been for the past few years. I mailed him the papers after I signed them and he refuses to sign. We have no kids, property or debt. Can I still file without the signed settlement agreement?
He is incarcerated in Macon (Bibb County) and I live in Gwinnett County.
Domestic Violence Lawyer
If your spouse is incarcerated in Bibb County, you will need to file for divorce in Bibb County unless he will consent to the case being heard in Gwinnett County. As the other attorneys mentioned, you will need to have him served since he won't sign the papers you sent him. However, service should not be an issue since you know where he can be located at all times.
Perhaps he will reconsider the settlement agreement you sent him once you have filed and he has been served. Oftentimes, a party will resist a divorce until they realize that their spouse is serious and is moving forward with the case.
If your case is contested, you should retain a family lawyer to represent you. You may contact our office at 404-588-3000 if you would like to learn more about our services.
Yes, you can get divorced without a signed settlement agreement. Since you do not know how to do that yourself, you should retain a Family Law Attorney to assist you. The only question is where to file, without a waiver of jurisdiction and venue. Where is he incarcerated? In what county do you live?
I am exclusively a family law attorney, practicing primarily in the metro Atlanta, Georgia trial courts. However, I handle appeals from anywhere in Georgia.
Family Law Attorney
You absolutely can file for divorce without a signed settlement agreement. It just means that your case is not a "consent divorce", and there may have to be a hearing on any terms that he disputes. It also means that you will have to have him served (in jail) with a copy of the divorce documents.
~ Kem Eyo
The above answer is a general explanation of legal rights and procedures. It does not constitute legal advice. Nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship between the individual posting the question and the attorney providing the answer.
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
Since he won't sign, you have a contested divorce. He will have to be served. There may or may not be a hearing depending on what he does or does not do.
My office does handle such matters in your county (Gwinnett).
Note that filing pro se is often problematic, and you CANNOT use papers that contain a settlement agreement if there is no agreement.
Feel free to call me at 404-768-3509 with details.
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