How do I get a divorce from someone who is serving a murder sentence?

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How do I get a divorce from someone who is serving a murder sentence?

He has been in prison since 01/05 for murder. I was also stabbed by him. We have 3 kids together that he had never been around even before he went to prison. I want to get a divorce; I have not even spoken to him since this happened. I also want him to not have any rights over the kids. I’m not sure what rights he would have since he is in prison. I need help to know what to do and how to get divorced. I am also engaged and my fiance would like to adopt the children when we get married.  Finally, I don’t want we husband to know where I live. 

Asked on January 11, 2011 under Family Law, Arizona

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I was good with everything until you added that last line: you don't want him to know where you live.  That may be a problem as states generally have something in their procedure law that allows each party to a litigation to demand to know the address of the other party.  So Arizona may also have such a provision.  That will be something that you need to discuss with the attorney that you hire.  Now, if your husband has never had any interest in your children en to one that he will agree to relinquish his parental rights.  If he will not do so voluntarily then you can petition the court. Check your state law.  Many states need no more information other than he was convicted of murder.  They will grant your petition.  This is usually done in conjunction with the adoption of the children but you need to wait for that until you are divorced. Please be aware that termination cuts off all his rights AND obligations (i.e., support) and the rights of the kids to inherit from him under the law.  For divorcing him, you need to be a resident of Arizona for a specific period of time to file, have an attorney prepare a petition and have him served.  You know where he is so service should be easy.  You also need grounds for divorce and Arizona has fault and no-fault grounds.  Seek help.  Good luck. 


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