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Funding your case

Funding your case

Family Law & Divorce Solicitors
Family Law & Divorce FAQs 

Commonly, lawyers will charge an hourly rate for the work undertaken on your case. This means that the costs you incur will depend on the amount of time spent. Our hourly rates vary depending on the level of experience of the person undertaking the work.

At the outset of your case, we will provide you with a Terms and Conditions of business letter setting out our hourly rates and giving you an estimate of the likely costs you can expect to incur at various stages of your case. We bill on a monthly basis and bills are payable upon receipt. We will update you regularly on the costs incurred to date and our estimate of the costs you are likely to incur to get to the next stage in your case.

We recognise that family law proceedings can be expensive, and clients are understandably concerned about how they are going to pay their legal fees at a time when they may not have access to the assets in the case or an income of their own. We have set out below a brief guide of the options available to you. We can discuss these in more detail with you and consider what may be the most suitable option for you.

Private funding

If you have a regular income or access to personal savings, then you may be able to fund your proceedings from your own funds. In some cases we are able to agree a monthly amount which can be paid towards our invoices so that you can factor this into your budget and ensure you stay on top of your bills.

Borrowing from friends and family

Your family or friends may offer to loan you funds to assist you in paying towards legal fees. We would generally advise against doing this in financial remedy proceedings as loans from family members/friends are not treated in the same way as a commercial loan would. In financial remedy proceedings, loans are categorised as 'hard loans' or 'soft loans'. A loan from a bank or a liability accrued on a credit card would be seen as a 'hard loan'. A loan from a family member or friend would generally be seen as a 'soft loan'. Typically, it is easier to factor into a financial settlement, the costs of a 'hard loan' than a 'soft loan'.

If you want to borrow from family or friends, then we would strongly advise that you enter into a formal written loan agreement as this can assist the court in treating it as a 'hard loan' rather than 'soft loan'. However, the court may still determine that it is a 'soft loan' if they do not believe that your family member or friend will actually demand repayment or enforce the loan. Where the funds available in the matrimonial pot are limited, repayment of a soft loan may not be factored into your settlement, which means you would have to use the funds you have been allocated in the settlement for other needs to repay the debt. We can advise you on this in more detail if you are keen to explore this option.

Commercial bank loans/credit cards

If you have a good credit rating and borrowing capacity, you may be able to secure a loan from a bank or high street lender. These can have lower interest rates than litigation loans and will generally be treated as 'hard loans' by the court. Interest free credit cards can be a useful means of discharging fees in the short term, although you need to be confident that you will have the means of discharging the debt or meeting the monthly repayments, when the interest free period ends.

Litigation loans

There are specialist funders who offer loans to cover legal fees for financial remedy proceedings. Certain providers will also fund ToLATA claims (disputes over interests in property), schedule 1 claims (financial claims for children usually where the parents are unmarried) and children act claims (if running alongside financial remedy proceedings). A loan facility is agreed with the provider based on your likely settlement. We invoice you as normal but instead of asking you to pay your bill, we request payment from the loan facility. Interest accrues on the amount drawn down but neither the loan nor the interest is payable until you have received your settlement at the conclusion of the proceedings.

We currently have arrangements with the following three providers: 
Borrowers — Family Litigation Funding UK | Rhea Family Finance
Litigation Loan Borrowers | Level (thelevelgroup.co.uk)
Ampla Finance - Home

We cannot make any recommendations or advise you on the suitability of the loans offered by the particular providers for your particular needs and demands. You will need to make your own enquiries. If you would like to proceed with an application, we can help prepare this for you. You will need to take independent financial and legal advice on the loan and the cost of that will need to be paid upfront.

Legal services payment orders

Where the other party in your case has a higher income than you or access to capital resources which you do not, you can make an application for a 'legal services payments order'. If successful, the court would order the other party to pay a sum of money towards your legal fees. This is paid as a lump sum or by instalments.

Generally funding is granted up to the second court hearing (Financial Dispute Resolution hearing or 'FDR') and then reviewed. You must demonstrate that you are unable to obtain legal advice/representation without a legal services payments order being made and that you have not been able to obtain a commercial or litigation loan. If you are eligible for a litigation loan, the court will consider whether it is unreasonable for you to fund your proceedings that way, if the other party has resources available to fund them.

We are pleased to be able to offer all new clients a free, no obligation, 30-minute call to discuss your matrimonial needs. During this call we can discuss the facts of your case but also discuss the various funding options available to you to pay for any future legal advice.

"I was fortunate to be referred to Bindu for legal advice and support during a very difficult divorce. Bindu's knowledge and experience of matrimonial matters is very comprehensive. This coupled with her professional but genuine approach immediately put me at ease. I felt supported beyond just a legal perspective."

  • Anonymous

For specialist advice from experienced divorce solicitors, please contact our New Enquiries Team on 0117 925 2020 or complete the below form.

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Meet the Team

Our experienced family law and divorce solicitors can advise you on all aspects of your relationship, a relationship breakdown or even a new relationship.

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Samantha Hickman - Family Law & Divorce Solicitor in Bristol - VWV Solicitors Law Firm
Lucy Barr - Family Law & Divorce Solicitor in Birmingham - VWV Solicitors
Bindu Malkan

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