Funding a divorce can be very difficult, especially for those whose spouses control all, or the majority, of the family wealth. It can be very frustrating when a spouse effectively cuts off a client from family funds and leaves them unable to pay for the legal help they need to get divorced and achieve a fair financial settlement.
Where we have clients who do not earn a significant income personally and do not have access to family assets, there are a number of options available to fund legal fees:
– Borrowing from friends or family
Do you have family or close friends who would be willing to lend you money? In principle, this is the easiest and cheapest form of borrowing if you know someone willing to lend to you. You can have a legal document drawn up to formalise the loan. Normally, a loan would be repaid when a financial settlement had been achieved.
– Credit cards, mortgage and other loans
Depending on your credit score, you may be able to borrow funds on a credit card or with a personal loan. Various 0% interest credit card deals are often available on the market and provide a cheap and quick source of funds. You may be able to borrow additional funds from your mortgage lender, normally at a much cheaper rate than normal personal loans. Obviously, you should only borrow as much as you need and always have a plan to be able to pay it back.
– Converting assets to cash
Do you have any assets which you can easily liquidate? Examples might be stocks and shares, investment accounts, vehicles, foreign bank accounts etc. Some investments may incur a penalty if they are liquidated early or without sufficient notice. However, those financial penalties may be worth accepting if they are cheaper than the alternative borrowing costs. If there is a realistic prospect of a significant financial settlement, then money spent on legal advice will be well worthwhile.
– Litigation loans
Some specialist commercial lenders will lend clients money to fund their family litigation. Normally, borrowed money will be repaid out of your financial settlement with your spouse. Our firm can work with litigation loan companies at your request.
– Financial contribution from your husband or wife
– Legal aid
Unfortunately, legal aid is now very rarely available for divorce cases. Legal aid may be available in some extremely limited circumstances such as where there is evidence of domestic violence or abuse or child abuse. We cannot advise on anyone’s eligibility for legal aid and we do not take on legally aided cases.
Please note that we do not recommend any particular funding route and that we do not offer financial advice.