For a long time, a non-working partner could reasonably expect the chief wage-earner to pay all legal fees arising from their divorce. That changed in April 2006. The current starting point, subject to any ‘litigation misconduct’, is that each party will need to pay their own divorce costs.
Difficulties in arranging for payment of ongoing fees can be very real, especially if the other party controls the family purse-strings. You may lack knowledge of your partner’s financial affairs and, if so, you may also incur costs obtaining the necessary information.
Ways to pay
There are many ways to pay for legal fees. At Stowe Family Law, we take our relationship with our clients seriously and will always advise you of all the available options for funding your case. These methods can include:
Existing assets, cash flow etc.
Credit cards (although these should only be used for short-term funding).
Loans from a bank, potentially secured against assets in which you have an interest. As a general rule, secured loans are cheaper than unsecured ones.
Loans arranged by your spouse and/or secured on assets owned by them.
An agreement with your spouse to use funds in their name or to extend the mortgage on your property for both parties’ benefit.
We can also introduce clients to lenders who are prepared to offer borrowing facilities to cover legal fees. In these circumstances, the money often does not need to be repaid until the case is over. We do not specifically recommend any lender, but we have relationships with some litigation funding providers such as Novitas, Level, Ratesetters and Detach.
The divorce costs for both parties will be funded primarily from the assets they own and the income they generate. This is true no matter whose fault the divorce is and who wants to keep which assets. Therefore, the total value of the assets to be divided between you will be reduced by the total amount of costs you both incur.
Get in touch
To speak to a family lawyer about your case and specific costs, please call or email to arrange an appointment.