News Story (Pennsylvania)
November 27, 2019
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Organizations mentioned/involved: Divorce Law Project
The Access to Justice Lab at Harvard University led the research, and it found that people without lawyers were 87 percent less likely to terminate their marriages. Study participants who did not receive attorneys were instead referred to written “self-help” materials and could have questions answered by phone.
“This was among the more disturbing studies that I’ve been involved with thus far,” said Harvard law professor Jim Greiner, who was part of the research team. “This really should be, in many instances, a quite simple legal transaction … It’s simply a transition, for many people, from a state of married to a state of not-married.”
Greiner said even though simple divorces involve no time in court, non-lawyers struggle with complicated paperwork and requirements.