WJLX giving away a divorce for Valentine's Day

Posted 2/9/20

One local couple who would rather have a divorce for Valentine's Day than dinner for two will have their wish granted by WJLX 101.5 FM.

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WJLX giving away a divorce for Valentine's Day


One local couple who would rather have a divorce for Valentine's Day than dinner for two will have their wish granted by WJLX 101.5 FM.

General manager Brett Elmore announced the unique giveaway on his show Friday afternoon, teasing it to listeners at the top of the show as "sure to change your life." 

Listeners were encouraged to register for the promotion online at www.wjlx1015.com.

Elmore confirmed prior to the announcement that Jessica Betts of the Carmichael Law Firm in Jasper will be handling an uncontested divorce for the winner of the promotion.

All applications must be submitted to the station by the morning of Feb. 17, and the winner will be announced that afternoon. 

"We were going to give it away on Valentine's Day, but we thought we would wait until Monday because some people might reconsider applying for the divorce because of the crummy gifts they got for Valentine's Day," Elmore said.  

In the past, Jasper's oldies station has hosted traditional Valentine's Day promotions, such as giving away roses and trips. 

Elmore wasn't serious when he first suggested the idea of offering a local duo a divorce.

"We didn't want to do the same old roses and meals. I thought of it as a joke, but we started talking about it, and it's something we can do. So we decided to do something a little different and give it a try," he said. 

Though the promotion will generate chuckles among listeners, local attorney Thomas Carmichael said paying for a divorce is a serious financial burden for many couples.

"It's easy to say that it will only take a few hundred dollars to get a divorce, but for people who are moving from paycheck to paycheck and at least one of them will be finding a new place to live, the money is a real issue. It's hard to save up for a divorce. It just doesn't seem like the thing that is of the utmost importance," he said.   

The promotion will cover everthing except a nominal filing fee. The firm will not charge for the work associated with putting together an agreement between the parties, which would include child custody arrangements as well as the preparation of deeds and other documents related to marital assets.

The couple will be saving between $750 to $2,000, depending on the complexities of the divorce, according to Carhmichael. It will cost more to prepare the documents needed to settle a divorce between a couples who has been together for 20 years and shares a children, a home and cars than it does for a younger couple who has been married a matter of months, for example.

Though it has been widely reported for years that approximately half of all marriages end in divorce, that statistic has been disputed. Multiple studies show that divorces as well as marriages are on the decline, and millennials are less likely than earlier generations were to divorce at the same ages.

Divorce rates are highest in the South, and Alabama's divorce rate is higher than the national average.   

Alabama's divorce rate of 6.8 per 1,000 population is double the national rate of 2.9 per 1,000 population, according to numbers compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Center for Health Statistics. The divorce rate in Alabama has been steadily declining since 1990, when it was 10.6 per 1,000 population.