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Would you qualify for a ‘free divorce’?

Not everyone’s feeling the love this week with one attorney offering a free Valentine’s Day divorce to the spouse with ‘the best break up story’. US attorney Walter Bentley has asked divorce-wannabes to submit a ‘compelling and convincing’ statement to him, detailing why they should win the prize. And, with the average cost of divorce thought to add up to around $50,000, saving on legal fees could prove a popular promotion for the lawyer.

‘They won’t have to take out their wallet for anything,’ says Bentley. ‘All the hearings, all the paperwork. I will pay all the fees and expenses, to the end. What they’re getting would ordinarily cost them $1,500 to $3,000.’

According to Bentley, nearly 500 people have already applied for the competition, which is restricted to individuals living in the Michigan area of the United States.

So what constitutes a good break up story? Bentley, who has been ‘happily married’ for seven years, is looking for someone in need of help. ‘We’re looking for someone truly struggling to move forward,’ he explains.

‘Maybe someone who’s overcome some obstacle – a foreclosure, say. Maybe they’re struggling to make ends meet, and they don’t have enough money for a divorce.’ His hope is that the free divorce will be enough to turn a bad situation into one of celebration – something he’d recently witnessed when he was invited to a student’s ‘divorce party.’

“So she was having a divorce party to celebrate her divorce and I thought about Valentine’s Day and said, ‘hey, why not help someone move on to that independence on Valentine’s Day?'”

Bentley may have timed his promotion a little early, however. According to one source, one in ten relationships end on Valentine’s day – thought by most to be the most romantic day of the year.

Whilst Bentley might be angling for a dramatic sob story, the actual reasons couples break up are much more predictable. According to a 2011 poll, the most common reason for break up is simply ‘falling out of love’ – we’re not sure that would qualify for a quickie divorce.

Top 10 Reasons For Break Up

1. We just fell out of love. (39.7% of respondents said they had experienced a breakup for this reason)

2. He cheated. (36.6%)

3. He lied about something, and I couldn’t trust him again. (29.3%)

4. We were always fighting and realized we shouldn’t be together. (29.1%)

5 and 6. He stopped doing sweet, romantic things for me. And, I missed being single and dating around. (21.1% each)

7. He wasn’t very ambitious when it came to his career. (20.6%)

8. One of us moved. (20.2%)

9. He didn’t get along with my friends and family. (18.9%)

10. The sex was bad. (15.7%)

We may not be able to offer you a free divorce, but please use the comments box below to share your break-up story and tell us why you’re (theoretically, at least) worthy of winning Bentley’s prize!

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About the Author

Lizzy has more than ten years’ experience in the print and digital publishing arena and is the Editor at Single File. Having moved from the UK to Australia in 2008, Lizzy has worked for a number of leading publishers in Sydney and has particular expertise in the health, wellness and travel markets. If you have any questions for Lizzy, you can send them across by email to

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