Can’t afford to divorce? There could be hope


While the general public and the legal community comes to terms with April’s changes to Legal Aid and an increasing number of people face the question, can they afford to divorce!

A new order has been introduced that could offer a glimmer of hope. The new provision gives the court the power to order one party to make a payment to fund the others legal costs.

Since the 1st April 2013 the court has had the power to order one party to a marriage to pay to the other (the applicant) an amount for the purposes of enabling that party to pay for legal advice and assistance. This was possible before the 1st April as part of a temporary maintenance order, but now the newly dubbed “Legal costs order” is a type of order in its own right.

These orders can also be sought to cover all or part of the costs in relation to the settlement or other resolution of the dispute. This includes processes such as family mediation which research shows have a proven track record in the resolution of such disputes.