Need resources for a woman leaving her husband in GA
February 7, 2019 3:20 PM   Subscribe

A female friend is in the process of separating from and divorcing her husband and doesn't know where to begin. Can you recommend resources (she's in the Atlanta suburbs) that can help her understand the process, give her support, and make sure she comes out of this whole? She particularly needs, but doesn't think she can afford, a lawyer.

The usual first answer in these is "get a lawyer", and I agree. Her husband makes significantly more than she does, and she has no savings whatsoever, so she's very worried about finding one. Any other resources that would help her would also be amazing--basically, she needs someone to help her understand what she needs to do, record, document, etc. This is not a domestic violence situation.

If you need more information, I can submit through a mod or respond via MeMail.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If she is financially dependant on her husband he could be made to pick up the tab for her legal representation. Not sure of the law in GA , but I think that is a solved problem most places in the US theses days.

She should talk to a divorce attorney or two. I'm sure they have experience dealing with this, and most will offer an intro consultation at no cost.
posted by COD at 4:11 PM on February 7, 2019

i found this when i googled "contingency divorce lawyer atlanta ga", which may be a good stepping off point to research methods of getting divorced for a lower cost.
posted by koroshiya at 4:12 PM on February 7, 2019

She should try to document all bank accounts, retirement savings, make copies of tax returns as soon as possible. Mobile phone - take pictures of statements, make note of acconut numbers. I recommend opening a new email account and keeping it quiet.
posted by theora55 at 4:23 PM on February 7, 2019 [2 favorites]

The MeFi Wiki Get a Lawyer page offers information about finding attorneys, including free and low-cost resources.

Most jurisdictions do not allow contingency fee agreements in family law, but there are things like temporary alimony and other court orders that may be quickly available to pay the attorney fees, and some attorneys may be happy to provide a free or low-cost consultation so your friend can better understand her options. Also, offers legal information for every state.
posted by Little Dawn at 6:35 PM on February 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

The Atlanta Bar Association offers a Lawyer Referral Service:
You can either call (404) 521-0777 or submit an online request, and one of our staff will contact you within the next business day with an attorney's information who is ready to serve you.

Referrals from the Atlanta Bar are free! However, there may be a nominal charge of $45 for certain types of legal consultations. Our staff will inform you whether your situation qualifies for a free or reduced-fee consultation.
And a "Modest Means" referral service:
The Modest Means Program is a public service program sponsored by the Atlanta Bar Association's Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS). It is designed to assist Georgia residents who are not financially eligible for Legal Aid, but who also do not have the resources to retain a private attorney at the standard market rate. Potential clients who qualify for the Modest Means Program are referred to a private attorney who has agreed to the specific terms of the program, including an initial retainer fee of no more than $600, or billable hours of $75 an hour maximum.
There is also a list of Legal Aid, Volunteer, and Pro Bono attorneys in the Atlanta area.
posted by Little Dawn at 6:54 PM on February 7, 2019

The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants has little fact sheets on divorce in each state with links, focused on financial details. has some great resources, also tailored to each state.

This .pdf checklist from a Maryland professional divorce mediator's web site is a good starting place for the range of issues that may need to be resolved in the course of the divorce.
posted by XMLicious at 7:29 PM on February 7, 2019 [2 favorites]

MeMail me, please.
posted by southern_sky at 7:58 PM on February 7, 2019

She should checkout
They have an excellent series of books and workbooks on the financial aspects of divorce. Their slogan is "think financially, not emotionally"
posted by Sophont at 10:35 PM on February 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

So, I also know a woman in the Atlanta suburbs who is currently in the process of divorcing her higher-earning husband, my jagoff cousin. Assuming it's not the same person, I wonder if it would be helpful for them to meet—even virtually—and offer support to each other, compare local resources, etc.? I know she's feeling quite alone right now, and she's truly a lovely person.

Feel free to MeMail me if your friend is open to it.
posted by gold bridges at 9:38 AM on February 8, 2019

Possibly of interest: a narrative of a woman and her ex-husband representing themselves in their divorce, in New York, from The Atlantic.
posted by XMLicious at 11:37 AM on February 12, 2019

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