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How can a married woman living in her husband's house get free legal counsel in order to file divorce papers?

Bridgeport, CT |
Filed under: Divorce

This lady works as a housekeeper, lives on the third floor of her husband's house and pays rent. She is looking to file for divorce, reluctantly, but when she went to Legal Aid, she found that she doesn't qualify for their services because her household makes too much money. She needs good counsel that she can afford.

Attorney Answers 3


I'm sure if there are assets in the marriage, the wife can find an attorney who will take the risk to represent her and file, as one of his first motions, a motion for counsel fees pendente lite (pending the litigation). As Attorney Brown stated, this is often the case. It sounds like this man has absolutely unequal bargaining power in that he has chosen to dominate the finances of the marriage. Family court is a court of equity, meaning the judge will do what is fair, and it would be fair for both parties to be represented by lawyers. The court likes that too, as it makes the whole process go more smoothly. If you can't find a lawyer on Avvo to do it, check with the Fairfield County Bar Association for a list of referrals in the city of Bridgeport (if that's where she is). Good luck.

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Mary Katherine Brown

Mary Katherine Brown


Mr. Basil has given an excellent and thorough answer. Following his advice is a good idea!

Charles F Basil

Charles F Basil


Thank you Attorney Brown !


She most likely cant get free legal counsel. People work and expect to be compensated. I imagine she works hard as a housekeeper and doesnt do that for free. She should sell things or use credit and get the counsel she needs. Being penny wise at this time can result in being dollar foolish in her divorce. She needs to hire counsel and do this right to protect herself.

This information provided is in the nature of general information and in no way creates an attorney client relationship with anyone including the individual who posted the question.

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Many experienced attorneys know how to get the monied spouse to pay for the legal fees of the less monied spouse, so both can have legal representation. If the husband owns the house, then the wife probably owns it, too, or some part of it, whether the husband thinks so or not. The wife should not assume she cannot get an attorney until she's called every single attorney in the area. Just because one says no doesn't mean they all will. Attorneys in the area can be found by searching among the profiles here on AVVO. Good luck!

Ms. Brown may be reached at 718-878-6886 during regular business hours, or anytime by email at: All of Ms. Brown’s responses to questions posted on AVVO are intended as general information based upon the facts stated in the question, and are provided for educational purposes of the public, not any specific individual, and her response to the question above is not legal advice and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. Ms. Brown is licensed to practice law in New York. If you would like to obtain specific legal advice about this issue, you must contact an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your state.

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