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How can I get a divorce with no income?

Harriman, TN |

We have 2 kids and no property. We both want the divorce but neither have the money to pay for it.

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Attorney answers 3


It's not clear to me from this question where you're located. (Is 37748 the zip code - Harriman, TN?) I'm licensed to practice in Oregon and can't give specific advice about other states' laws. But most states have a procedure to waive filing fees, or at least to defer or break up payments, upon a showing of financial hardship. Many lawyers will also talk to you at least initially for free.

(Though pro bono services are not an absolute right. Please read this post before you ask about that: )

You can start by going to your local courthouse and asking if there's a family law help desk or at least a forms library. If you have a simple case - generally, that means, if you agree on most things - then you may not need a lawyer; if you can't agree, that's at least a starting point.

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If you are in Georgia, you and your spouse can share the cost of filing an uncontested divorce (approximately $210 in most counties) and use the forms provided online for the County where you are located. It's not difficult to reach agreement if you have no assets but when it comes to children, there are a lot of additional concerns that have to be addressed that make hiring a lawyer very worthwhile. Some counties in Georgia, such as Cobb County, where I am located, offer free Family Workshops to help individuals who are not represented by an attorney prepare and file their own divorce. I strongly recommend you attend such a workshop or consider hiring an attorney for a limited engagement to advise you on what documents to file.


Your location is not clear but most jurisdictions have programs which allow you to file your papers without an attorney, and many of them even show you how to do it. Some jurisdictions will also allow you to file a poverty affidavit and waive the filing fee.