DIVORCE EQUITY, INC., founded in 1971 as Cleveland Women's Counseling, promotes fairness in divorce through research, advocacy, and education. Based in Cleveland, the nonprofit organization has chapters in Akron, Cincinnati, Toledo, and Columbus. Cleveland Women's Counseling, originally an all-volunteer advocacy group, first operated a telephone referral service to advise WOMEN of locations of abortion services and of alternatives to abortion. In 1973 the group expanded to include employment services, education, consciousness-raising and self-help groups, counseling, and daycare. The organization moved to larger quarters at 2420 Taylor Rd. in Dec. 1975.
Between 1973-78, Cleveland Women's Counseling helped more than 10,000 women, 35% with divorce-related problems. In 1979 the group transferred its telephone referral service to WOMENSPACE and reorganized to concentrate on the needs of divorced women. (WomenSpace offices closed in 1995.) To more accurately reflect its purpose and expansion to other cities, in 1982 Cleveland Women's Counseling changed its name to Divorce Equity, Inc. By 1983 it had relocated to the Civic at 3130 Mayfield Rd., CLEVELAND HTS. Since 1976, the organization has distributed a "Dissolution of Marriage Kit" to facilitate divorce without a lawyer, sponsored seminars, and published manuals on divorce and child custody. Initially focused on the impact of divorce on women, by 1984 Divorce Equity had begun to include all parties involved. Individual contributions and foundation grants fund its operations.