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RBinJax, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 731
Experience:  I have handled family law cases in Florida for over 20 years.
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Ive been served with papers for divorce, but do not have funds

Resolved Question:

I've been served with papers for divorce, but do not have funds to retain my own attorney. My husband walked out 2 years ago. I lost my job shortly after he left and cashed in my retirement in order to pay off our bills. He has not given me any money since he left and I am still unemployed. We were married for 27 years when he left and I understand I am entitled to part of his pension. Can I call his attorney and let him know that I want part of his pension and if he agrees, they can proceed with the divorce? Do I have any options?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  RBinJax replied 8 years ago.

You can check with the local Legal Aid office to see if its attorneys can assist you. You also can see if the local bar association has a pro bono service with attorneys who will represent you for free.

Your post does not show where you live (the Optional Information and Already Tried sections are not showing), but most states have some provision that where there is a great discrepancy in the parties' income, the party with the greater income/resources can be ordered to contribute to the other party's attorney's fees.

You can try to negotiate with your husband's attorney yourself, but I suspect that you do not fully know your rights, and you could waive rights that are valuable. As an example, you say that you cashed in your retirement to pay off your bills. In most states, your husband is responsible for reimbursing you for at least half of what was spent, and perhaps more if you paid off bills that may have been on joint credit obligations, but he used the funds for his personal use in ways that did not benefit you.

At the very least, please consult with an attorney in your area as to the divorce petition. many attorneys offer a free consultation, so look for one who does and make an appointment to speak with him/her about your rights.

I hope this helps and answers youre questions. Please click Accpet so that I may be credited for my assistance. Thank you and good luck.

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