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3 options to fund divorce or family law case

3 options on how to fund your divorce or family legal case

Mar 18th, 2021

Emma Lawler, Partner

Starting divorce proceedings or family legal cases can be daunting, emotional and stressful particularly if you have money concerns. Here we share some ideas on how to fund your divorce or family legal case.

Working with the Langleys Family Law team

Free initial appointment

At the outset of your case we will offer you a free initial appointment which is not time limited. During this appointment we will outline our preliminary advice to you and the options available to you to move forward as well as outlining our estimated costs in relation to each option.

Paying funds upfront

If you instruct us to take on your case you will be required to pay funds upfront, known as providing a ‘payment on account’. This amount is typically £500 but could be more if you have an imminent Court hearing or other substantial work that needs to be dealt with at the outset of your case. We will give you an idea of what we anticipate your fees are going to be to conclusion, but that estimate may have to be revised as time passes.

Disbursements

In addition to your legal fees you may also have to pay ‘disbursements’ which is a term given to additional costs such as fees for a barrister and Court fees. Any disbursements that are incurred on your behalf by the firm have to be paid in advance and you will be notified when a payment needs to be made.

Interim invoices

As far as your legal fees are concerned, we will typically raise an interim invoice every month so that you can keep up to date with your fees. The amount we bill depends on how much work we have done that month and therefore each month your bill will vary.

How we charge for our services

We charge on a time recorded basis in 6-minute units and bill monthly for a service that is bespoke to each client. We have a range of experts in the family team ranging from Legal Assistants to Partners. This means that we can use the most appropriate level of expertise to undertake a specific piece of work ensuring that your costs are reduced where possible.

So, how can you fund your divorce or family case? Here are some different options available to you to fund your legal fees.

Paying monthly from income or savings

You may simply choose to pay your bills as you receive them out of your own income or savings. Under our firm’s payment terms, any invoices must be paid within 14 days of issue.

Credit and loans

Funding legal costs through credit is quite common in family cases and particularly divorce cases. If you have to use credit to pay for divorce proceedings it may well be taken into account when your assets are divided at the conclusion of the case on the basis that it is a debt that needs to be discharged. You need to make your own arrangements for determining which type of credit is suitable for you. We cannot advise you on which option is the best for you to take. Options include:

  1. A loan from family or friends. The terms of this loan should be recorded in a formal agreement to limit the possibility of arguments over whether it would actually need to be repaid or whether it is a ‘soft loan’.

  1. Commercial borrowing from a regulated lender such as personal loan or credit card.

  1. Litigation loan funding.

Langleys are able to help you apply for a litigation loan from bespoke lenders and banks who are prepared to lend clients to enable them to pay for their divorce legal fees.

The lender will normally require details and a value of the assets together with the likely share of assets you may receive in your divorce settlement. In some cases, payment is deferred until the end of the case. Interest will accrue on the amount that you borrow, and you then repay the amount owing when you receive your financial settlement.

Litigation loan funding is not a viable option where the only disputed issue relates to arrangements for the children.

Legal Services Payment Order

If your ex-spouse has the means to fund your legal fees and yet refuses to do so, it is possible to apply to the Court for a Legal Services Payment Order to force them to make a contribution. To qualify for this Order you would usually need to show that at least two commercial lenders have been unwilling to lend you the money to enable you to fund your costs.

If you or a family member want to have a confidential discussion concerning your situation, please contact us

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