RFTA’s Four Areas of Expertise

At Rise From The Ashes, we strive to assist financially struggling women who are leaving an abusive relationship, with civil legal matters such as divorce and custody. It does not matter how many times a woman tries to leave an abusive relationship, if she can’t afford to get a divorce, she will never truly be free. To make matters worse, if she can’t afford an attorney to assist her in the custody issues of her children, she will likely set aside concerns of her own personal safety, and choose to re enter the abusive relationship for fear of leaving her children alone with the abuser. Abused women are, for all intents and purposes, hostages in these situations – not only to her abuser, but to the legal system as well.

Obtain Custody Of Her Children

Securing the safest home possible for her children

Get Divorced

Severing the relationship in the eyes of the law.

Legally Separate Her Finances

Allowing her to have a fresh start on her own financial foundation


Making sure that she is comfortable and supported throughout the legal process

The Process/Services

Here are RFTA when we receive a referral from a shelter or established organization about a woman in their care who is living at or near the poverty line and in need legal representation to leave an abusive relationship, we bring a whole team up behind her. From counselors and attorneys, to a comforting court companion, we make sure that not only are these women well represented, but that they are well cared for too.

When a woman has made the brave decision to leave an abusive relationship and is currently taking the steps necessary in order to regain control of her life, the agency that is assisting her in those steps will reach out to us. We will assess her situation and see if we might be able to provide her with the legal representation necessary to sever the legal ties that are still binding her to the relationship.
After deciding that a woman’s situation is one that could benefit from our services, RFTA will have her meet with one of our on-staff counselors. Together they will discuss what has transpired in the past, her current situation, and any fears she might have. They will come up with a list of goals that they would like to achieve through the legal process and discuss how best to facilitate these needs to her attorney.
After a woman has met with one of our counselor’s, her needs will be facilitated to one of our on-staff attorneys to come up with the best legal plan of action for her case.
After the legal paperwork has been filed, each woman will be assigned a person whose sole job is to accompany her to court as a friendly companion. Court can be scary, especially when her abuser is present, so this person will provide her with the emotional support that is often times lacking.
From here on out a woman will be working with her team, which will consist of her counselor, attorney, and her court companion to sever the legal ties that are binding her to an abusive relationship.

RFTA Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible to receive legal services through RFTA, clients must be coming as a referral from a shelter or other agency we partner with, and must meet the following criteria:

  • Have been working with shelter services or another agency for a period of time before seeking legal services. Examples include counseling, support groups, shelter residency, and participation with the states attorney in prosecution of her abuser. Orders of Protection are excluded from this requirement and are subject to approval on a case-by-case basis.
  • Have applied for, and been denied services through other local legal organizations such as DuPage Legal Aid and Prairie State Legal.
  • Be living at or near the poverty line. We do not count her partner’s income.
  • Be leaving a relationship where physical or sexual abuse has occurred between her and her partner.
  • Has already left the relationship. We may be able to help a client who is still living in the communal home, contingent on her being prepared to formalize a safety plan, secure alternate housing if needed (a shelter is fine), and outlining the beginnings of a future financial independence plan. Orders of Protection are excluded from this requirement.
  • Must be a legal US citizen. As a new organization with limited manpower, we are currently unable to represent cases with the added complexity of immigration issues, yet we hope to expand to include those cases in the future.
  • Must have a legal case that will be handled through the court system in DuPage, Will, Kendall, or Kane County.

RFTA Intake Forms

If your client meets our eligibility criteria, please have her fill out all three sets of intake forms below and either email them to us at risefromtheashes11@gmail.com or mail them to us at:

PO Box 91 Plainfield Il, 60544

We will review the application and be in contact with you as soon as possible!

*Please be aware that we are currently only able to accept clients who are living at the federal poverty level and meet our eligibility criteria. If your client has an extenuating circumstance please feel free to contact us with details.*