Legal Aid for Mary

After fleeing an abusive marriage a year ago, Mary is in the midst of a legal battle to keep her children safe. However, she now stands to lose them completely if she cannot come up with additional funds for a new divorce and custody lawyer after illness and death removed her previous ones.

Mary has already used up her savings of $20,000 on legal proceedings, and now has been quoted $7500-10,000 as the down payment/retainer fee by multiple attorneys. The 4 day 40 hour trial will bring the total cost to over 30K, which has to be paid by June 1. It is an immediate hardship due to all witness subpoenas needing to be sent by May 18 and the 4 day trial taking place a month later.

Despite working two jobs, Mary is struggling financially for a number of reasons. Although the income of her estranged husband is twice her own, she loses over half her weekly income to a court supervisor each week since the Best Interest Attorney (appointed by the court to act as an advocate for the children, but also the former boss of the estranged husband’s attorney) claims he has financial hardship and she does not. The opposition refuses to approve anyone else, although the current order allows any mutually agreed upon person to be the supervisor.

She also been forced to take on all the commuting, both under the protective order and now, as the Best Interest Attorney claims that it would be a hardship to expect the father to do any of the driving - even though Mary, who has not been accused of endangering the children, has less time with the children under a temporary custody order than their father did when he was under investigation by CPS and sanctioned by a protective order.

Mary was the main financial support for her children and husband during their marriage, working odd hours and many part time jobs in order to care for the children, since her husband insisted that no one outside the family be allowed to babysit or even visit the house.

Once the children reached school age, her husband insisted on choosing a private school for the girls - which Mary then paid for, further depleting her savings.

Mary's financial responsibility has actually made her ineligible for a loan since she has no credit (no credit cards, paid off student loans within a year, and apartment rent doesn’t build credit), has no assets other than her personal items, and is still waiting on the IRS to process her tax returns from 2017 and 2018.

Her family is unwilling to help due to their religious and social intolerance of her situation. The long hours already spent working, commuting to see the children, and diagnosed PTSD caused by domestic abuse make it nearly impossible for Mary to take on more work. 

Mary is grateful for any assistance you are able to give so she can continue to fight for her daughters' safety.


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Organizer and beneficiary

Melissa Dillier 
Bristol, NH
Mary Remaniak 
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