In the past, spouses in a marriage breakdown could access legal aid to assist with the financial cost of their separation. With the abolition of legal aid, it became apparent that some spouses – for example wives or husbands who had been homemakers and not had any regular income – were left with no financial support whatsoever in fighting their case and were left at a disadvantage.
New provisions in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 provides Courts dealing with divorce, separation and civil partnership with the ability to order that one party pays to the other either a lump sum or a monthly payment sufficient to enable them to pursue financial proceedings to achieve a fair and just settlement.
A spouse must show that they have exhausted all other avenues of alternative funding but where there are no other options the ability of the Court to make capital available will ensure fairness in the couple’s ability to access legal advice
For couples going through a separation, seeking legal advice from the outset could ensure you have financial support or can frequently avoid not only the costs of litigation but also the worry of escalating costs on both sides.
For more information on this or similar issues please contact Shelley Chesworth on 0161 475 7622.