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Attorney Offers Bizarre Valentine's Day Promotion: A Free Divorce

02/12/2013 02:45 pm ET

Valentine’s Day is the perfect reminder that the best things in life are free: love, oxygen and, for at least one person this year, a divorce.

Walter H. Bentley III, a Michigan-based attorney, is offering one un-lucky-in-love person the chance to get lucky in litigation, WDIV reports. He’s running a contest where the winner gets the legal costs of divorce totally free.

walter h bentley

But don't enter the contest if all you have to share is a cliche anecdote of heartache. To win you’ve got to have a real sob story, like some never-fall-in-love-again, Kris Humphries type stuff.

“Maybe someone who's overcome some obstacle -- a foreclosure, say,” Bentley was quoted as saying on ABC News. What else, you ask?

“Maybe they're struggling to make ends meet, and they don't have enough money for a divorce," he speculated further.

Got it. Plus points for financial woes. But what about terminal illnesses?

"Somebody diagnosed with cancer [could be] one reason their spouse no longer wants to be with them."

Valentine’s Day tragedy win!

Despite the perhaps misguided way the contest is structured -- and some have already objected to it -- it may be someone’s best hope of getting out of a bad marriage, since a typical divorce can cost between $1,500 and $3,000, according to Bentley.

Indeed, divorce costs Americans about $112 billion annually, and it's not uncommon for family lawyers to offer divorces pro bono, according to the Houston Chronicle.

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