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

Shelton, WA |
Attorney answers 3


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


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.



good grief. this response makes it sound so easy - which it is far from. first you have to have access to a phone at the same time that attorney's offices may be open. then you have to go through the institution's process to get EACH attorney's phone number approved - you may go through 20 attorneys before you find one to represent you - and in my case not one would represent me, so 'yes' i had rights in a civil proceeding - but could not find any attorney willing to reprsent me and my husband's attorney was unwilling to assist to help me be represented because he knew - that if I or my legal representative did not show in court - my husband would be given all he requested (which was all) because of my 'default' (I did not show).


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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