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When served divorce papers in prison can someone refuse to sign them?

Shelton, WA |

Can someone refuse to sign divorce papers while incarcerated?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Yes, you can refuse to sign them. Your spouse can probably still get the divorce, but will have to proceed differently.


  2. Being imprisoned does not lessen the imprisoned person's rights in a civil proceeding.

    The imprisoned person can still dispute whether the proposed division of assets and debts is just and equitable.

    If there are dependent children involved, the imprisoned person can still dispute the proposals regarding child support and parenting.

    Both spouses should review their facts with separate attorneys.


  3. Yes, you can refuse, but then the other side can proceed to court to get the relief being sought. this would be through a motion for default or the other side appearing at trial and you not appearing. Then, the other side gets what they want. You would have to hire an attorney to appear for you, but your testimony would likely not be heard unless the court allows you to appear through a deposition or transfer to court for trial. Most judges do not allow a transfer for civil cases. You may want to consider the above and try and negotiate with the other side. It would be less expensive for both of you to settle.

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