Q: If I am unemployed and my husband is unemployed also and disabled can I get my divorce for free?
A: The circuit court has preprinted family law forms for divorce cases, and many counties and the City of Baltimore have family law clinics for do-it-yourself litigants. You would still have to pay the filing fees and arrange service of process on your spouse. There is a motion you can file to ask the court to waive the filing fees based on your financial condition. Service of process can be arranged privately by getting a friend (anyone 18 years or older) to hand the summons and copy of the complaint to your spouse after you file and the clerk returns the summons to you. There are also lawyers available to take on cases for free (pro bono) or on a reduced fee, through the local bar association, as well as Legal Aid. If you are the victim of domestic abuse, you can request assistance from the lawyers at House of Ruth. Regardless of whether you decide to do this on your own, it is strongly advised that you at least consult with a lawyer about your property, retirement/pension, and support rights, as well as any issues affecting child custody and support (if applicable). Once you are divorced, you cannot go back and try to reclaim marital or spousal rights to assets or support tht you waived by not asserting those rights at the time of divorce. The court, however, always retains jurisdiction to pass orders with respect to your children's best interests, including support and even custody.
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