FUNDING OPTIONS FOR FAMILY LAW

When a couple separates, one of the main concerns for them is the costs involved with regard to obtaining legal advice. Following the removal of legal aid for a significant proportion of family cases from 1st April 2013, many couples will now have to consider alternative options available for funding.

Smith Partnership can offer fixed fee services. It is desirable to have certainty about your legal costs to enable you to budget. You will be advised of exactly what will be included within the fixed fee. Family cases will often involve unexpected issues arising which are not always foreseeable.

Some people may feel able to deal with some aspects of the legal process themselves but will require legal advice and representation for the more complex parts, for example, financial negotiations or representation at court. We can advise on a ‘pay as you go’ basis which will allow you to manage your case and keep costs to a minimum.

Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to secure litigation loan funding (specialist loan providers for legal matters) or commercial lending from your bank or building society. You should discuss these options with us or an independent financial adviser and consider them carefully, as interest will be payable and you will need some capital assets to repay the loan at the end of the case.

Borrowing from family or friends may also be an option but you should ensure that it is a ‘hard loan’ – one that must be repaid and evidenced in writing (ideally registered as a charge against the property). If the loan is seen as ‘soft’ (not strictly repayable) it may not be included as a liability when deciding finances.

In divorce or civil partnership cases, it may be possible to make an application to the court for your spouse or partner to pay your legal fees however various tests have to be satisfied – we can advise as to whether this is an option for you.

Smith Partnership offer a range of funding options to suit your needs. For further information, please call Deepa Tanna on 0116 247 2000 or email deepa.tanna@smithpartnership.co.uk