You can get a divorce even if your spouse is in jail or in prison. You will have to serve your spouse with all of the court papers, just as you would if they were not in jail or in prison.
But include your spouse’s inmate number, and the name and the address of the jail or prison on the summons and other paperwork.
To get your spouse's inmate number, look up your spouse on the website for the Illinois Department of Corrections (DOC). Use the DOC inmate locator to make sure that the spouse is being held there. Get the inmate number for the spouse and write it down.
If your spouse is being held in another county, you will have to ask the sheriff of the county to serve the divorce papers. To do this:
- Find out the name of the county where your spouse is being held;
- Find out the phone number for the sheriff’s office for that county;
- Call the sheriff’s office. Ask to speak to the civil process department;
- Ask the civil process person how much it will cost to serve divorce papers on the spouse at the jail or prison. Also, ask:
- Exactly which papers need to be sent
- Where to send them
Once the spouse is served, the sheriff will send you a paper that shows that your spouse was served. File that paper with the clerk of the court to prove that your spouse was served.
Follow all the steps for finishing a divorce.
Note: Usually, a judge will not order a spouse who is in jail or in prison to pay child support until they get out.