A common worry for many of our clients when they separate is how much their divorce or case will cost them and how they will find the money to fund their case. There are many options to consider and we have set out some examples below.
This list is not exhaustive and we will be happy to discuss your funding options with you at your initial meeting with one of our Family Law team. We can agree with you what level of service you require in order to match your needs and your budget.
All Attwaters Jameson Hill’s Family Law solicitors are members of Resolution and subscribe to a code of conduct which requires them to avoid aggressive costs and to balance the benefits of taking any steps against the likely costs.
We offer a fixed fee service for divorce proceedings which will help you budget. You can also arrange to make payments to us by way of an agreed fixed monthly amount by way of standing order. We can discuss with you whether or not you might be able to recover some of all of your legal costs for the divorce from your spouse.
If your income exceeds your essential outgoings and/or you have built up savings then you can fund your case by either monthly instalments from your income or payment from your savings.
If your income and/or savings are not enough to fund your case then you can explore the possibility of a litigation loan. There are specialist litigation loan companies who may loan you money to fund you case if 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 if you would like more information.
We accept payment by credit card if you want to incur 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 then 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 team before you do this or if there are joint assets involved. If you sell an asset without having received legal advice first there is a risk that the courts might consider this as an attempt to defeat the other person’s financial claim.
If you are a member of a union you may be able to claim funding assistance.
Domestic household insurance
Check the terms of your domestic household insurance to see if you have cover for legal fees.
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 and then they take be taken into account in any financial settlement.
‘Sears Tooth’ agreement
In suitable cases we may be able to enter a written agreement with you that you can pay your legal fees (plus interest) to us from any settlement you receive. We 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 requiring the other party to pay you either a lump sum or a regular amount to pay your legal fees. We can advise you about your prospects of success in making such an application.
If your case is suitable, we may be able to offer you advice on a consultancy basis if you wish to conduct the case yourself. This has the effect of reducing your legal fees.