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  • Writer's pictureSeth Eric Springer, Esq.

What If I Can’t Afford A Divorce?

Divorce is not just an emotionally painful experience but also a costly process. So, it can be a challenging situation, especially for those who can’t afford a divorce. Luckily, there are several ways to get a divorce during a hard financial situation. These include the following:

How To Get A Divorce If You Can't Afford It

How To Get A Divorce If You Can't Afford It

Presenting financial proof

If a spouse wishes to dissolve their marriage, there should be proof that they are indigent to make divorce fees waived. It may include evidence of income from different sources like payroll, child support, security, and disability.

Financial proof also includes assets, including cars or bank accounts and debts (utility bills, loans, and credit cards). Tax returns are also requested by the court. The spouse is required to present these documents to the court.

Obtain divorce forms

Divorce forms are crucial to get the fees waived during the divorce process. The spouse can check online to find a family court or local divorce. Then, the forms can be printed or downloaded. These forms will help the spouse file a divorce and get a fee waiver.

There is also an instruction booklet that will guide the spouse through the process. They can also get forms directly from the courthouse. It is also essential to meet the state residency requirements. The forms should be filled with the requested information like assets, children of the marriage, date of marriage, debts, and the reason for the divorce. The spouse can also indicate if they ask for alimony, child support, or division of marital assets.

Divorce fee waiver for indigents

Another way to file a divorce despite financial difficulty is through the fee waiver procedure. The spouse may ask the court to waive court fees during the divorce process if the state offers an indigent divorce. The fee waiver procedure is designed to help spouses who end their marriage with limited finances.

Filing for a fee waiver

After completing the paperwork, the spouse can now file the documents. The documents will be notarized. They can ask the clerk to notarize the forms when filing.

After filing, the court judge or employee will review the paperwork. A hearing is essential, so the judge may ask questions to the spouse. The fee waiver can be approved, but the court may also defer the fee, so the spouse can pay it later. It is possible if the other spouse has assets and pays out some to them as part of the divorce settlement or judgment.

Once the waiver has approval, the divorce case will proceed. It can move forward by appearing in the court, filing a settlement, or telling the judge about a settlement. Another option to proceed with the divorce is through an uncontested procedure, wherein the other spouse doesn’t need to appear. It can lead to a quick procedure and getting a divorce without paying the fees.

Legal aid divorce assistance

If a spouse can’t handle filing the papers and the divorce by themselves, it is best to get a legal aid society in their area. Such an organization can offer no-cost or low-cost legal assistance. If the spouse is indigent, they can be represented at no cost. Additionally, the fee waiver papers will be filed on their behalf.

Possible risks with an affordable divorce

Even though affordable divorce can help spouses who can’t afford a divorce, there are also potential risks. These include struggling with court procedures. If the rules are not followed correctly, the case can lead to dismissal or delay.

Moreover, choosing the wrong service can cause problems. For example, the mediator may not be effective, especially if you need more assistance for your divorce such as knowing how to divorce your wife and still keep everything. An affordable divorce may also fail in negotiating. With this, it may not offer protection for the spouse who wishes to dissolve their marriage or who desires getting half in a divorce.

Online services can also lead to complicated situations if the mediator doesn’t have enough experience in handling a divorce case.


With the help of the ways mentioned above and an uncontested divorce attorney in York PA, a spouse who wishes to dissolve their marriage can get a divorce even during financial difficulty. However, the spouse should also keep in mind that there are potential risks in a more affordable divorce. With that, it is necessary to choose carefully when getting an affordable divorce process.

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