Desperate times call for desperate measures…what IS the best way to fund your legal fees?

Movie stars Alice Evans and Ioan Gruffudd’s divorce has seen some major media coverage in the last year (particularly those texts and emails!) but the case has made headlines again this week as Alice has set up a GoFundMe page in a bid to fund her legal fees.

Whilst this seems to be rather an extreme – and public- length to go to, and one that I really wouldn’t recommend to my clients, it does raise the question of what options there are available here in the UK if you find yourself worrying about funding legal fees for your divorce. 

  1. Family and Friends – If you are able to borrow money from family members or friends, this is usually one of the easiest ways to fund your legal fees. It is important to ensure that there is a loan agreement in place, so that the sums you owe are taken into consideration when determining the financial agreement, and not considered to be a gift. 

  2. High street lenders – You may be able to obtain a loan, or use a credit card with a higher credit limit, to assist and help spread the cost of your litigation. 

  3. Litigation funding – There are certain lenders that will loan larger sums than traditional high street banks, specifically for funding your litigation. These lenders can be more flexible with providing further advances than a high street bank, as they work with your solicitor to understand what level of settlement you are likely to receive. 

  4. Home insurance – Some insurance policies include cover for legal expenses so although it is unusual for family litigation to be included, it is always worth double checking. 

  5. Legal services payments order – If you are unable to secure any funding from a lender, but your spouse has assets in their name that could fund your legal fees, it is possible to make an application to Court that your spouse provides either a lump sum or monthly amounts, to fund your legal fees. These payments are usually made direct to your solicitor. 

Whilst our team are unable to provide specific financial advice, if funding your legal fees is a concern for you, we can certainly discuss all options available with you. Crowdfunding would certainly be an option of last not first resort!

Miss Evans, 53, said she had sacked her lawyers because she cannot afford any more legal fees.

The star of 102 Dalmatians has set up a GoFundMe page to raise $25,000 (£20,500) and is asking friends for money as her divorce fight enters its 15th month.