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My friend is going through a divorce and is trying to get legal custody of his daughter. His ex-wife is not contesting his custody, and the two have a mostly amicable agreement involving visitation and whatnot.

However, he does want to get all this legally settled in the State of Illinois' court system. The legal proceeding, even done pro se, are a significant expense. To defer these expenses my friend was told to fill out an "Application to Sue as a Poor Person" -- not "a person of low income" or an "economically challenged individual" but as a "poor person".

The application includes this wonderful conclusion, "Wherefore, the Applicant prays the court to permit him/her to commence and prosecute this action as a poor person under 735 ILCS 5/5-105 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

I had to look at that section of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure to assure myself that it does indeed refer to those with thin wallets and not those who are dishonest or petty. I meet poor people everyday and most of them live in nice houses and drive decent cars.

I suppose that it's decently cool that you don't have to be wealthy to get divorced but a little dignity never hurt a anyone. Nothing like kicking the downtrodden.

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