Although there are a multitude of financial factors that come into play during a divorce, many people are concerned with one simple question: “Will I have enough money to pay my legal fees?” This might not be a concern in high-net-worth divorces, but the majority of divorcing Americans find themselves facing serious economic pressures. Many of these individuals might also be dealing with a range of stressful life changes. Simply ending a marriage might be distressing, but spouses might also be dealing with concerns about their children, housing, or even domestic abuse.
The controversial Federal “COVID-19 Relief” stimulus bill that was passed in March of 2021 may offer Americans some hope. Although the bill was criticized by some, it is undeniably ambitious in its scope. The $1.9 trillion stimulus package seems to contain an incredibly wide range of initiatives and projects, some of which are seemingly unrelated to the pandemic. One of these initiatives is to provide victims of domestic abuse with additional funds to help alleviate many of the economic pressures they may be facing.
What is in the Bill?
Many of the funds in this bill will help parents who may be struggling after a split. Tens of billions of dollars will go toward child care stimulus and subsidies, but a massive chunk of funds will be reserved entirely for victims of domestic violence. In total, $450 billion is going toward domestic violence services across the United States.
What Does This Have to Do With Divorce?
Many spouses are essentially on the run from their exes after ending their marriage. For example, a woman who has suffered domestic violence at the hands of her husband might have made a split decision to “grab the kids and run.” This woman might be forced to leave her hometown and her job, leaving her with few financial resources and fewer options.
Taking care of the kids is one thing, but having the time and the resources to pursue a divorce is an entirely different matter. Many spouses in this situation find their options for legal action extremely limited due to financial pressures. This stimulus package would provide spouses with greater options, both in terms of childcare and the necessary funds to pursue their divorce in an effective manner.
Criticism of the Bill
With all that said, some might argue that domestic violence survivors were already able to pursue a divorce with few financial resources. After all, there are plenty of volunteer lawyer groups who are already committed to helping these individuals. In addition, spouses can have their legal fees paid by their exes in many cases, especially if they have no money of their own. On the other hand, supporters of the bill will claim that in order to get a “good” lawyer, you need to spend a lot of money.