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Can an inmate pursued divorce while incarcerated?

When most Colorado spouses decide to end a marriage, there are very few obstacles in place to prevent that process from moving forward. For those who are incarcerated, however, it may be considerably more difficult, if not impossible, to file for and complete a divorce. This is an issue that receives very little attention, but can be incredibly harmful to people who are serving time.

Part of the problem lies in the roles that structure the divorce process. Very often, an individual or his or her attorney must show up in person to file the initial paperwork needed to start the divorce. For inmates, this hurdle may be one that is next to impossible to cross. Without the financial resources to hire a family law attorney, an inmate has no way to even begin the divorce process until he or she is released.

While incarcerated, an estranged spouse has the time and freedom to chip away at the foundation of marital wealth. Regardless of how little wealth an individual may have had prior to incarceration, being released with next to nothing left is a terrible scenario. That outcome is a reality for many people who spend time behind bars.

For those in Colorado who would like to file for divorce while serving time, it is important to secure the services of a family law attorney. That representative can be authorized to file paperwork and complete other required tasks on one's behalf. That can make the difference between a fair and equitable division of marital wealth, and being released from prison with no measure of financial security.

Source:, "It's Almost Impossible for Inmates to Get a Divorce", Kim Bellware, Sept. 1, 2017

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