TROY, Mich. — Around Valentine's Day, people would usually say love is in the air; however, one Michigan law firm has something else in mind. At a time when many couples come together, Goldman & Associates Law Firm is offering to untie the knot — for free.
On the surface, it might seem a little strange, but they assured FOX 17 the giveaway is for a good cause.
“We’re Michiganders," said Akiva Goldman, director and founder of the firm. "We’re people from the Midwest. We help each other. We try to give something back. These were times when everybody needed a hand in one way or another. We just decided, you know what, this is what we can do.”
Businesses have free giveaways all the time. For many, it's food, story credit or maybe even tickets to a sporting event. For Goldman & Associates, it's a divorce.
“It's not a coupon that we send to people," Goldman told FOX 17, "(Maybe) they're clipping, they'll get tuna fish — (and) here's a divorce. It's not like that at all. These are people who, for whatever reason, have been trying to go through this process. It’s complicated, and it's very unpleasant too.”
The law firm, based in the Metro Detroit suburb of Troy, announced the giveaway the day after Valentine's Day.
The timing might be a bit bizarre, but Goldman said it's no accident.
“It’s not love that’s in the air," Goldman said. "It’s romantic opportunity. When you're married to someone who you haven't seen in five years, you have lost the opportunity. The divorce giveaway gives you back the opportunity. That's what we're talking about.”
As the classic statistic goes, 50% of all marriages end in divorce. It already sounds like a large number, but Goldman said it's much higher than that.
“That's the marriages that we know are getting divorced because of filings," he said. "So many applications that I get are people saying, 'My wife left me four years ago. I haven't been able to get a divorce.' That guy's not in the statistic yet.”
That's where Goldman & Associates comes into help. The giveaway works like a college scholarship — you send in applications outlining why you think you should get a free divorce.
However, you need a good reason, Goldman stressed. Simply hating your spouse or being low on cash isn't going to cut it.
Take the last winner, for example.
“He could care less about getting a divorce, but then he meets someone, and they have a relationship.," Goldman said. "Then it turns out that she's diagnosed with terminal cancer. Her dying wish was that they would be married, she did not want to die alone."
That's a wish he otherwise wouldn't have been able to fulfill. Divorces aren't cheap — the man would've had to spend at least $`13,000 according to Goldman.
“When we're doing a giveaway, we're not giving away Nike's to an underprivileged kid," he said. "This is an expensive item, but it's an item that we give away because we feel this is how we give back to our community.”
The firm does a free divorce giveaway about four times a year. The tradition started when the pandemic hit as break-ups were breaking out.
“A lot of marriages thrive on the eight-hour-day buffer when a husband doesn't have to see wife and wife doesn't have to see husband," Goldman said. "That got taken away very quickly. We saw a lot of confinement anxiety that caused a lot of stress in marriages. So we definitely saw an uptick.”
Goldman said they usually get about 300-400 applications from all over the world when they announce one of these giveaways. As long as one person in the relationship lives in Michigan, you qualify.
So for all you unlucky couples, this could be your lucky break.
If you're interested, visit divorcegiveaway.com, or call Goldman & Associates Law Firm for more information at (248) 588-3333.
The winner will be notified the third week of March.