What to do if I can’t afford a divorce due to paying off debt and paying spousal support?

UPDATED: Sep 20, 2011

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What to do if I can’t afford a divorce due to paying off debt and paying spousal support?

I have been separated for over 3 years and need to get this done.

Asked on September 20, 2011 under Family Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You can either represent yourself in filing divorce--which is called being a "pro se" litigant, in which case you'll only have to pay the filing fees (which are usually around $150 or so dollars); or, since doing it  yourself is not recommended, you should be able to find an attorney who will do this for, say, $400 - $500, including fees, as long as it's a straightforward matter.

If you can't even afford the filing fees, then you should still represent yourself pro se, but you can petition or ask the court to waive the fees for you, on account of indigency (basically, poverty); you'd have to produce documents, records, etc. showing your severe financial need, but the court should have the power to let you out of the fees, if you can convince them to do so. Good luck.

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