Lawyer offers free divorce for Valentine's Day

Walter Bentley says his contest is meant to help someone who wants a divorce but can't afford it.

Love is in the air this Valentine's Day  except at the law offices of Walter H. Bentley, who is offering a free divorce to one lucky (or unlucky) person Thursday.

The contest, which is limited to Michigan residents, ends Tuesday. After that date, Bentley will choose one winner "based on the most compelling and convincing story" as to why they need a divorce.

"I've gotten quite a bit of interest," Bentley told MSN.

Related from MSN: How to enjoy Valentine's Day alone

He said he expected to get about 40 or 50 entries as of Monday night, he had 500.

Bentley said this is the first year he's run the contest, and the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive.

"It's been 90 percent positive reactions," he said.

But there are some who wonder why he would run a contest for a free divorce on a day meant to symbolize lasting love and have said the campaign is in bad taste.

That has not deterred Bentley, who believes he has a chance to help someone who wants a divorce but can't afford it.

"There are a lot of people … that are hurting right now," he said. "You can't really move forward to new love until you close that chapter."

Of Valentine's Day itself, he said, "That's a day that's really hard for people in a bad marriage."

The contest is limited to an uncontested divorce with no or minimum child custody issues. People can enter the contest by filling out a form on Bentley's website.

Related from MSN: Amazon has a Valentine's Day love story for every state

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