Clinic can help those seeking to end marriage

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By Molly Haines

The Owen County Circuit Court and Legal Aid of the Bluegrass will be sponsoring a pro se divorce clinic.

Pro se means “on one’s own behalf.” In other words, a pro se divorce is a do-it-yourself divorce.

The purpose of the clinic is to help those who cannot afford a divorce. Representatives from Legal Aid will be at the clinic to discuss how a divorce can be completed without financial strain.

Owen County Circuit Clerk Leigh New said the clinic will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Oct. 9 at the Owen County Courthouse.

“It’s more or less for people who are trying to get a divorce but cannot afford an attorney,” New said. “Legal Aid is going to do this clinic as a trial run and see how it goes. They will be showing people how to fill out the paperwork and things like that. If everything goes OK, they’ll start sending two people to the courthouse a month to do it.”

Director of Advocacy for Legal Aid of the Bluegrass Glenda Harrison said Circuit Judge Stephen Bates requested the clinic for Owen County, as well as Grant County and Carrollton.

“We’re very pleased to be coming to Owen County,” Harrison said.

New said the clinic will help many in the county.

“I think there is a great need for something like this in Owen County,” New said. “People have a hard time affording attorneys and I think this will greatly benefit people.”

Eligibility to participate in the clinic is limited to individuals with an income of less than 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines.

Harrison said an income less than 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines for a family of four would be $3,675 a month and $2,428 a month for a family of two before taxes.

Representatives from Legal Aid will provide information on filling out divorce forms and the law concerning a divorce, New said.

New said she thinks the clinic will benefit not only those who cannot afford a divorce but also everyone involved in the divorce process.

“I think this will be a great benefit,” New said. “A lot of people come in and don’t know what to do. With this clinic they will have someone to show them what to do and it will save us time, the judges time and the people who are getting a divorce time.”

Space for the clinic is limited and will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you would like to pre-register, call (859)957-0182.