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Know your divorce funding options

September 6, 2019 | Categorised in: ,

We appreciate that divorce is already a difficult time, without the added pressure of juggling legal costs too. Since legal aid cuts in 2013, an increasing number of people have had to weigh up their divorce funding options. From credit cards to personal loans, the financial choices can be intimidating and expensive.

Many people choose to borrow from family and friends, but did you know that this can risk your divorce settlement in court if you don’t sign a formal agreement? Courts may not always take into account this type of ‘soft’ loan when making the final divorce settlement. It sounds obvious, but if you do borrow from friends and family then do ensure you have clarity as to how and when you will pay them back – it can harm relationships if there is ambiguity or confusion when it comes to finances.

Another option is to seek a Legal Service Payment Order, by which a court can order your ex-partner to fund your legal costs. Alternatively, an out-of-court agreement with your ex may be made if they are willing to cover your fees.

Settling costs with your former partner not possible? It’s easy to understand why you might want to avoid further court proceedings. In that case, you could consider taking out a 0% interest credit card or personal loan, as long as you qualify with a high enough credit rating. However, the bar is often set so high that this can prove to be a tall order.

When it comes to taking out loans, high street banks don’t tend to be competitive, so this does involve a lot of shopping around and can result in paying a lot in interest. Opting for a 0% interest credit card instead allows you to avoid paying interest for a limited period of time – usually under 12 months or less. If you do take out a credit card it’s worth checking when the 0% deal runs out, as many divorces can take longer than 12 months to finalise. It’s also important to find out whether your solicitor even accepts this kind of payment, as many don’t.

Some law firms do offer a legal contract which extracts fees directly from your divorce settlement. This known as a ‘Sears Tooth Agreement’, and is usually only suitable if your solicitor is confident of a successful settlement. Few firms are willing to take the risk, making this a tricky option to rely on.
With all this jargon flying, and risks high, we decided that there should be a simpler and safer way.

We launched Ampla Finance Legal to streamline these complicated options into a simple, bespoke solution. We work in partnership with your solicitor to design a loan best suited to your financial needs. Since we offer responsible loans based on an assessment of your likely legal costs, there is no need to sacrifice your financial security. We recognise the need for a quick decision and tailored divorce loan which cuts through legal jargon. That’s why we promise fast, flexible, and above all, fair financing.

If you would like to learn more please read our FAQs here and for more information on all your divorce funding options, the following are also useful guides:

The Money Advice Service Citizen’s Advice Service FT Adviser