A Brief Overview of the Case
Zamora was sentenced back in 2019 to 20 years in prison for the charges of sexual conduct with a minor, attempted molestation of a child, and public sexual indecency. She had pled guilty despite claims that school officials failed to transfer the boy to another classroom due to his “aggressive” pursuit of the teacher. The parents eventually found the texts between the teacher and the 13-year old. This led the parents to pursue both a criminal and civil case.
Imprisonment as Grounds for Divorce?
Divorcing a Spouse Who is in Prison
Divorce is a complicated process in general, but it is even more complicated when one or both spouses is incarcerated. Regardless of what you decide to do with your case, you should consult an attorney before proceeding with an attorney, whether or not you or your spouse is incarcerated.
To divorce an incarcerated spouse, you will need to file a divorce petition just as you would if your spouse wasn’t in prison. In this petition, you will list what you would like the terms of the divorce to be, like custody issues, alimony, etc. Custody disputes are likely to be resolved in your favor as your spouse won’t be able to care for your children in prison. Typically, your next step is to have this petition served upon your spouse. This is where incarceration can make things trickier. You will need to hire a process server who services prison inmates before your case can proceed. Your spouse’s prison may have a designated employee who will make sure that the prisoner who is being served receives the paperwork.
Filing for Divorce While in Prison
The prison in which you are incarcerated will likely have a legal library, and you may have access to a “jailhouse lawyer.” Some law schools allow students to earn credits by providing free legal services to inmates. You should complete a divorce petition for the state that your spouse resides in. You may need to find a friend or relative to file the paperwork for you if your prison doesn’t have legal services. You will not be able to request custody of any children you have with the spouse while you are incarcerated. You can submit an accompanying affidavit for a fee waiver if you won’t be able to afford the applicable divorce filing fee. You will need to file a process server to serve the paperwork on your spouse.
If you are looking to file for divorce while at least one spouse is incarcerated, our firm can help. Our dedicated family law attorneys are available for free consultations to determine your best course of action. We also offer affordable retainers and monthly payment plans. Call to schedule your free consultation today!