Photo via Dreena Beena/GoFundMe (CC-BY)
A Connecticut woman is using GoFundMe to raise money for divorce proceedings after allegedly being attacked by her husband.
Dreena Beena writes on her crowdfunding page, titled “Help End My Abusive Marriage,” that her husband punched her in the face when she tried to prevent him from posting derogatory comments on her social media account. Beena adds that the police were called, she was treated for a fractured jaw, and that she has had a restraining order against her husband ever since.
Now seeking divorce, custody of her two children, and child support, Beena writes that she is raising funds to cover legal costs. She states, “It's been a year, and very few knew my story. However, I am willing to speak out now as a survivor of domestic violence.”
So far, Beena has raised $395 of her $5,000 target.
Beena is not the first to utilize a crowdfunding site to cover divorce costs. Last year, Tennessee resident Rae Berham titled her GoFundMe page, “The Most Justified Divorce Ever,” and successfully exceeded her fundraising target of $4,000 to cover her legal fees. Berham, who is now divorced, says her ex-husband molested their daughter and is currently in jail.
Another mother, Rebecca Kickel of Nevada, started her GoFundMe page last fall, claiming that her husband abandoned her and their daughter without consistent child support. She has raised around $2,500 of the $15,000 she seeks.
But it’s not just women who have taken to the Internet to seek financial help for divorce proceedings: Maryland father of four Fred Wheelock is currently halfway to meeting his GoFundMe target which, he says, will help him avoid having to file for bankruptcy after legal fees for his acrimonious divorce became unmanageable. Arkansas resident Aaron Cooper is also crowdfunding to cover legal fees for his divorce after, he says, he was turned down for legal aid.
Those in financial need can also turn to PlumFund, a site where you can register for donations toward any number of life events, including divorces, births, graduations, medical emergencies, and funerals. There is even a specialized “Divorce Registry” area, where you can request funds for specific purposes, such as new furniture and household items, attorney’s fees, and child custody costs.
In a more formal vein, there is a platform specifically designed for crowdfunding for legal fees, including divorce cases, called Invest4Justice. Cases are reviewed by a panel of lawyers to ensure that they are genuine before being approved for crowdfunding. If the case is won, its funders receive a fee deducted from the instigator’s settlement.