Spouse serving jail time

Nothing can speed up a divorce. In NC you must be separated for one year & one day prior to filing for divorce.

I suggest consulting an attorney and getting a separation agreement drawn up. If your spouse is not aware that your intent is to separate and ultimately divorce, she could sue for Divorce from Bed & Board for malicious turning out of doors.
You possibly could change the locks but it would be a good idea to check first. I would think that you would still have to allow her back into the home to remove personal items since she did not leave voluntarily…and she would still entitled to 1/2 the marital assets.

If your spouse is in jail you can begin the separation period, however there is no way to shorten the one year waiting period for divorce. You can pursue a divorce while your spouse is in jail, before changing the locks I would recommend that you consult with an attorney.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

Charlotte Office
301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044

Durham & Chapel Hill Office
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Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 321.0780


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If my spouse has to serve jail time for a shoplifting incident, am I legally allowed to change the locks of our home? Can I persue a divorce while she is in jail and do we still have to be separated for a year before the divorce will be final or does the fact that she had to go to jail expedite the divorce?