Divorce evaluation results are in!

We’ve completed the Philadelphia divorce study, and we’re excited to share the results!

You can read about the study’s findings in Faculty Director Jim Greiner’s op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer online. (Note: philly.com uses a limited paywall with a ten-article limit.)

After six years of work with our partners in Philadelphia VIP, an organization that matches low-income people with volunteer pro bono lawyers, and the Philadelphia Family Court, we’ve completed our evaluation and analysis of the effectiveness of pro bono representation in divorce cases in Philadelphia County. Both groups were extremely generous with their time and expertise. The study couldn’t have happened without them.

The Lab’s randomized evaluation showed that people who received legal representation were 87% more likely to achieve a divorce than people without it. If you can’t afford an attorney and if you’re one of the people for whom free legal help isn’t available, you could find yourself trapped in your marriage.

Why was the difference so large? We wanted to know, so we took a close look at the steps required to get a divorce in Philadelphia. We learned just how difficult it is to navigate the process, which included multiple forms and waiting periods.

You can learn more about the process in either the op-ed or, if you’re interested in a more in-depth description and analysis, the full paper. The paper, Trapped in Marriage, is available on SSRN.

1 thought on “Divorce evaluation results are in!

  • Congrats! This pushes our understanding higher on what happens to people who don’t have lawyers in a divorce case. Will read the paper.

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