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I don’t have enough money for my legal fees. What can I do?

The first thing to do if both you and your partner don’t have any funds for legal fees would be to research and then go and see a legal aid solicitor. The Law Society has a full list of legal aid solicitors in England and Wales.

What if you partner has money and assets but you don’t? In this scenario, it could be appropriate to go to court for a Maintenance Pending Suit. Maintenance pending suit applications must be made after the main proceedings have already been issued. Maintenance pending suit applications are mainly used in the context of divorce proceedings but can sometimes be used in other cases. An order can be made by the court that the paying party must pay the other’s legal fees or must pay the other party an amount of money per month.

If one party wants the other to pay their legal fees, the court will also look at whether the party who wants the payment has tried to avoid court e.g. through mediation, how the party has acted with regards to the proceedings, any effect the order would have on the party who would pay and also the paying party’s level of legal representation.

Generally, the order for one party to pay the other’s legal fees will only happen if the other party doesn’t have any other assets they could use to pay for the legal fees, they haven’t managed to get a litigation loan, public funding is not available and the solicitor doesn’t want to recover their fees at the end of the litigation.

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