Divorces in America are on the rise, and so is the cost of obtaining one – some estimates peg the average price tag of a civil separation at $20,000.
But matchmaking website SugarDaddie.com, which sets up wealthy older men with younger wealth-seeking women, is offering to ease the burden for three local couples, footing the bill for their breakups through LegalZoom.com.
"It kinds of make sense that, look, the more divorces there are, the more members there are that could potentially join SugarDaddie.com," said site spokesman Darren Schuster of Pop Culture PR.
"Philadelphia happens to be one of the most expensive cities to get a divorce in, according to the average hourly rate of a divorce attorney, so we figured we would start with a city that was extremely costly."
A report from Business Insider using data from AttorneyFee.com ranked Philadelphia as the ninth most expensive U.S. city in which to obtain a divorce, pegging average hourly fees at $297.
The ranking noted the cost was, in part, due to the amount of time it takes Pennsylvania to process divorce documents, which has caused some cities in the state to average three years to finalize a divorce.
Philadelphia family lawyer Thomas Petrelli Jr., who also heads up a divorce mediation company that charges $300 per hour, said the time and money are often due to "other things that get lumped into a divorce but are not necessarily part of the divorce, like custody, which can be more expensive than the divorce itself and can take years."
Regardless of the cause of the promotion, there are apparently plenty of Philadelphians who would gladly take the site up on its offer – Schuster said the company has received "several dozen" messages stating applicants' desired reason for divorcing.
He said site administrators are seeking the most interesting and compelling stories.
"One that's up for consideration, for example, she says she hasn't seen her husband for nine years," he said.
"And the nine years that they were together before that, he cheated on her. A lot of times, the husband disappears and the wife is left not knowing what to do and they don't necessarily have the money."
"One that's up for consideration, for example, she says she hasn't seen her husband for nine years," he said. "And the nine years that they were together before that, he cheated on her."
Petrelli confirmed the most often reason he sees cited for divorce in cases he handles is financial reasons, closely followed by infidelity.
"I've never seen a dating site offer free divorces," Schuster concluded.
"I'm not sure what took us so long to come up with the idea – how do you not want to expand your market base?"
Those interested must submit their reasons for wanting a divorce in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 5 p.m. Aug. 15.