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The basics: funding options for divorce

Funding legal fees can be a worry and add to the pressure at an already stressful time. Accessing funds for legal fees may be difficult if assets are tied up, or income streams are for whatever reason inaccessible.

We know that this can often lead to people going it alone and losing out on much needed expert advice; a decision that can have long lasting and costly implications. We recommend you consider the following options before deciding to go it alone.

  • Help from family and friends

Entering into a loan agreement will ensure that your legal costs are factored into your settlement as a liability to be repaid and not treated as a gift.

  • Personal loans, credit cards and remortgaging property

There is nothing to stop you taking out a personal loan, using a credit card or looking at remortgaging a property to cover your legal costs.

  • Specialist loans

You may be eligible to apply for a litigation loan. Security for these loans is usually given over your capital assets and becomes repayable at the end of your proceedings.

  • Legal services order

You may be able to apply to the court for an order to ask the other party to pay towards your legal costs if you can demonstrate that:

  • you would not reasonably be able to secure appropriate legal services for proceedings without such an order;
  • you cannot reasonably secure a loan or charge over your assets. Usually, this would require you to produce two negative letters from potential lenders; or
  • the other party has the ability to pay.


This information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. © Shoosmiths LLP 2022.


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