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New Beginnings Divorce Project

A Project of the Allegheny County Bar Foundation

Many women are trapped in abusive marriages because they can’t afford the legal representation needed in to navigate the divorce process. The Allegheny County Bar Foundation aims to help women in these situations through its New Beginnings Divorce Project.

Through the program, ACBF staff and volunteer attorneys provide free legal representation to women with very low incomes who have experienced abuse in their marriages and wish to be divorced in order to move on with their lives.

Public Contact: 

New Beginnings Divorce Project
Koppers Building, 11th Floor
436 Seventh Avenue
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219


Applicants may contact the project by phone for an initial screening. If eligible, we will mail or email an application form, which must be notarized and returned. Applicants may also apply in person at our downtown Pittsburgh office and have their application notarized for free at that time.

Information and intake line: 412-402-6714

In-person intake hours: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.
Tuesdays, Thursdays 9:00 a.m.- noon

Client eligibility: To be eligible, applicants must:

  • - Be a female resident of Allegheny, Beaver or Butler County for at least 6 months.
  • - Have experienced physical or emotional abuse in her marriage as evidenced by the applicant having sought or been granted a Protection from Abuse order; by criminal charges for domestic violence filed against the applicant’s spouse; or by the client’s self-identification.
  • - Have a household income at 125% of the federal poverty level or below.
  • - Be willing to proceed as a simple divorce with no claims for equitable distribution or custody. Other legal aid, pro bono, or reduced-fee services may be available for child support and child custody matters.

Attorneys’ services will be provided at no charge. The ACBF will seek permission from the courts for our clients to proceed in forma pauperis so that court filing fees will be waived.

This project is funded in part by grants from the FISA Foundation and the Pittsburgh Foundation.