By Robin Klein
With housing values at near-record lows, wide-ranging cuts in salaries and a dramatic rise in unemployment rates, many couples are just not divorcing because they are afraid they can’t afford it.
After all, people on a fixed income typically do not have the thousands of dollars necessary to pay divorce lawyer fees, court costs, and other associated expenses that come with a marriage separation.
So are there options available for a man who wants a divorce but thinks he is unable to financially? Or can someone simply be too poor to divorce?
According to the Rules of Civil Procedure where I practice, a person who is unable to afford the costs of an original action (such as a divorce) must file an affidavit of indigency. A party who is unable to afford cost is defined as "a person who is presently receiving a governmental entitlement based on indigency or any other person who has no ability to pay costs."
The affidavit must contain complete information as to your identity, nature and amount of governmental entitlement income, nature and amount of employment income, other income, spouse's income, property owned, including bank accounts, as well as a list of debts and monthly expenses.
The affidavit must state that you are unable to pay court costs and you must verify that the contents of the affidavit are true and correct. The affidavit must be sworn before a notary public.
Once this is filed with the Court Clerk, the clerk will put the matter on the court’s docket to determine if the request will be granted or not.
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You need to check with your local family or civil court to find out if this is the same policy and procedure in your state and what other steps or documents are involved if you think you are too poor to divorce.
Cordell & Cordell has divorce lawyers for men located nationwide. For more information on the laws in your state or to schedule an appointment with a Cordell & Cordell divorce lawyer, please call 1.866.DADS.LAW.