Getting help with divorce costs
When somebody applies for a divorce, one of the most common worries they will have is how much their divorce will cost and how they will find the money to pay for it.
Fees for divorce, for example legal fees, court fees and funding a financial settlement, can all add up. The good news is that there are many options to consider, some examples of which we’ve set out below.
Please note that this list is by no means exhaustive, and of course our Family Law solicitors will be happy to discuss your funding options at your initial meeting. We can work together to agree the level of service you’ll require, in order to match your needs and your budget.
Before we get started, it is also highly advisable to take independent financial advice prior to moving forward with a given funding option, to ensure it is suitable for your financial situation. We work with a panel of trusted financial advisers and can recommend one to chat through your finances with you should this be desirable.
Our code of conduct
At Attwaters Jameson Hill, our primary aim is to achieve the outcome you desire for a reasonable fee that fits in with your financial situation. As members of Resolution, all our lawyers subscribe to a strict code of conduct which requires them to avoid aggression and to balance the benefits of taking any steps against the likely costs of doing so.
Our fixed-fee service
We understand that paying for a divorce can put a strain on people’s finances. That’s why we offer a fixed-fee service for divorce proceedings to help you budget. You can also agree to pay your legal costs via standing order, for a pre-agreed fixed monthly sum. We can also discuss whether you may be able to recover some or all of your legal costs from your spouse.
Funding a divorce
If your income exceeds your essential outgoings, and/or you have some savings put aside, then you can fund your case by way of monthly installments, either from your income or your savings.
If your income or savings are not enough to fund your case, then you may be able to take out a litigation loan. There are specialist litigation loan companies who may loan you money to fund your case, on the condition that you sign an agreement to repay the loan plus interest from any money you receive at the end of the case. We can provide you with details of litigation loan companies should this be of interest to you.
We do accept payments via credit card if you are comfortable with incurring short-term borrowings. Many credit card companies now offer a nil percentage deal for a short period, which you could use to your advantage and repay with any money you receive at the end of the case.
You can apply for an unsecured loan from a bank or building society in order to fund your case.
If you have assets in your sole name, then you might want to consider selling or borrowing against them to meet your costs.
It is vital that you speak to one of Attwaters Jameson Hill’s family lawyers before taking any action, especially if there are joint assets involved. If you sell an asset without having received legal advice, you risk the courts considering this as an attempt to defeat your spouse’s financial claim.
If you are a member of a union, you may be able to claim funding assistance.
You may have family members who are able to loan you money to help meet your costs. It is important that any loans of this type are recorded in a proper loan agreement in order for them to be taken into account in any financial settlement.
Find out more about your options for family loans.
‘Sears Tooth’ agreement
In suitable cases, we may be able to enter into a written agreement with you that you can pay your legal fees (plus interest) using the settlement you receive from your case. We will assess this on a case-by-case basis.
Legal services order
If you are unable to secure a loan or any other kind of agreement to fund your case, and the other party is in a better financial position than you, you may be able to apply to the court for a Legal Services Order. This essentially requires the other party to pay you either a lump sum or a regular amount to help you pay your legal fees. We can advise you on your likely prospects of success before you make the application.
In suitable cases, we may be able to offer you advice on a consultancy basis if you wish to conduct your case yourself. This will help reduce your legal fees.