Call us: Mon - Fri 8:30am - 7pm, Sat - Sun 9am - 5pm
Call local rate 0330 056 3171
Mon - Fri 8:30am - 7pm | Sat - Sun 9am - 5pm
Call local rate 0330 056 3171
Mon - Fri 8:30am - 7pm | Sat - Sun 9am - 5pm

Courts gain new power to order payment of legal fees

Courts can now order one party in a divorce or separation to pay the other enough money to hire a lawyer or solicitor.

Sections 49 to 51 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 provide courts ruling on divorce, separation or declarations of nullity (annulment) with the right to “make an order or orders requiring one party to the marriage to pay to the other…an amount for the purpose of enabling the applicant to obtain legal services for the purposes of the proceedings.”

Sections 52 to 54 meanwhile, make the same provision for same sex couples in civil partnerships.

The power to order such payments is a general one and not limited ‘maintenance pending suit’, in which courts make a temporary order for the payment of financial support (maintenance) before a divorce settlement has been officially concluded and a decree absolute has been issued.

Maintenance pending suit is a provision of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

Contact us

As the UK's largest family law firm we understand that every case is personal.

Leave a comment

Help & advice categories


Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up for advice on divorce and relationships from our lawyers, divorce coaches and relationship experts.

What type of information are you looking for?

Privacy Policy