Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Divorce for the Poor?

A lot of the calls I get are from indigent people. Often these people are homeless or living in a shelter, others live in crappy motels, etc. Unfortunately, there really is not too much I (or my lawyers) are able to do for these people. Although there are services such as Legal Aid and Pro Bono that provide free legal help, they not only are constantly overwhelmed, but also only handle specific areas of law. For example, neither Legal Aid or Pro Bono handles divorce cases, except in domestic violence situations. There are also, of course, millions of people in this country who live paycheck to paycheck with absolutely no savings whatsoever, and could never afford even the cheapest of attorneys. With the number of broken marriages in this country, this leads to a very difficult situation: how do poor people get a divorce?

The sad reality is that, in the U.S., there really is no easy way for poor people to get divorced. Anyone with $25 can go to the courthouse and get married, but getting divorced is a much more difficult process. I cannot count the number of times I have gotten a call from a client who has not seen their spouse in years because they were too poor to get divorced, but now REALLY need to get divorced because they have met someone else and want to get married again.

All of these calls have led me to believe that govermnent must either create an easier, cheaper way to get divorced, or make the process of getting married complicated and expensive. I'm not really sure which is the better option...

6 comments:

sushi_k said...

Yes this is sad. I am exactly in this situation, but only worse to the power of 10, because I have a child and my ex lives in Canada. How am I supposed to fight a man who makes over $100,000 a year and yet has $60,000 in debt that he fled the US to avoid? It's Uber complicated and my wonderful student income will definitely not cover it. I am not unintelligent, crazy, nor do I do drugs or have any indication that I would be a bad mother except my ability to make money. Where is the advocate for me? Nowhere.

Chuck said...

The only indigent person here is the person who wrote this blog

Chuck said...

The only indigent person here is the person who wrote this blog

Chuck said...

The only indigent person here is the person who wrote this blog

Chuck said...

The only indigent person here is the person who wrote this blog

Chuck said...

The only indigent person here is the person who wrote this blog