The breakdown of a relationship is a difficult time and trying to work out how to fund your divorce may contribute to this stress. When you get divorced there will be costs pay. Many people try to save costs by starting the process themselves but finding a good solicitor will help keep costs down in the long run. Their experience can not only take away some of the pressure but also help you to reach a timely agreement that suits you and your ex-spouse.
Divorce finance options
You should take time to consider how you are going to fund the divorce proceedings. Below are some options to consider:
Income and savings
Many people will fund their divorce from their income or savings. We tend to bill our clients on a monthly basis to ensure that invoices can be paid off in manageable chunks.
N.B If you do decide to release funds from your investments or draw down on a pension it is important that you disclose this to your ex spouse.
Loans from family and friends
Your family or friends may offer to loan you money to help you pay for your legal costs. The advantage of this is that they often will not charge interest and/ or there will not be a fixed date for re-payment. However, we would not normally advise our clients to go down this route because a Court will often view the loan as a “soft debt” as they consider that it is unlikely that your family or friends would seek to enforce it. It may therefore not be taken fully into account for settlement purposes in the way a commercial debt would.
If you are considering borrowing money from family or friends we would always recommend that you put a formal loan agreement in place which is signed by both parties.
There are a number of providers such as Novitas who will provide specialist loans to help you fund your divorce. An arrangement will be put in place by which the loan will be paid off from any proceeds that you receive as part of the settlement and the remaining funds will be then be passed to you.
Some private banks will offer a loan to those who need assistance with their divorce funding. They will often look for security over assets therefore if you have a good asset base but are cash poor this could be a good option for you.
You can pay for your divorce using a credit card, as you would any other transaction. This can be a flexible way to fund your divorce. However it is important to consider how you will repay the money you have used. We would recommend that you take financial advice.
Maintenance from your spouse
It is possible to apply to the Court for maintenance from your partner whilst Court proceedings are ongoing. This can include provision for your costs if you can demonstrate that you cannot borrow the money elsewhere. Both divorce and financial proceedings must be issued in order to make such an application. The Court will weigh up the needs of both parties when making its decision.
Add any debts to your Form E
If you decide to fund your divorce by any of the above methods, it is important to include these debts within the liabilities section when you complete your Form E (a document in which you disclose all your financial information). The advantage of having “hard debts” is that they will be considered to be a marital debt and will therefore be taken into account when considering how the assets should be split between you and your partner.
Lots of financial options to consider. Before you make any decisions you should seek financial advice as to the best solution for your situation.
Laura is trainee solicitor in our family team. Our family law team advises families across the South West on the best solutions for them. If you would like to get in touch with the team by telephone 0345 450 5558 or email firstname.lastname@example.org