If my husband is currently in a mental hospital for suicidal intentions, can divorce papers still be delivered to him?

UPDATED: Dec 12, 2011

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If my husband is currently in a mental hospital for suicidal intentions, can divorce papers still be delivered to him?

My husband and I got married 11 months ago. A big mistake. He turned out to be completely different then he was before our marriage. I now live in one state and he is in another. No trust and nothing but hatred has grown in me for him. We have a daughter who will be turning 2 and I am now talking with a man in the military and it is going very well. I want a divorce. Since my husband is currently in a mental hospital, can a divorce still be granted with his current situation?

Asked on December 12, 2011 under Family Law, South Carolina


L.P., Member, Pennsylvania and New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Thank you for submitting your question regarding obtaining a divorce without your spouse’s consent.  Divorce matters, like all family law matters, are governed by state laws and can vary from state to state.  Depending on the state that you are filing for divorce, there can be different requirements for how you are able to obtain a divorce.  This can change quite substantially depending on the state.  As such, you may wish to consult a family law attorney in your area to discuss your options with how to proceed. 

That being said, there are many states that will allow for a no-fault divorce.  This means that you do not need to show a reason for a divorce, just that you could have differences that could not be resolved, and as such, you are seeking a divorce.  In a no-fault divorce, you do not need the other party’s consent to obtain a divorce.  However, some states require a certain period of separation before a divorce will be allowed.  The length of time will differ depending on the state.  Additionally, depending on the state, the court will give the party being served the option to respond to the divorce, and if the party opts to not respond, then a default will be entered, and the divorce will be entered. 

The courts have certain procedures and paperwork that is necessary in order to have a divorce granted.  In order to not hold up the process any longer than you need to, you may find it helpful to contact a family law attorney in your area that knows the specific rules and guidelines for your state and can assist you with all of the paperwork.  The laws will also be different depending on whether or not there are children involved.


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