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5 December 2014 0 Comments
Posted in Family, Opinion

Debt in divorce

Author headshot image Posted by , Partner

According to research by Resolution, more than one in four (28%) adults say they’ve fallen into debt as a direct result of a break-up. While one in six (16%) admit to asking a friend for short-term financial help. Only a handful of solicitors now offer legal aid for divorces and due to the strict criteria for legal aid, most people are not entitled to it anyway.

Photo credit Johanna Hardell

Statistics* also revealed that the number of couples attending out-of-court sessions to resolve family disputes since cuts to legal aid were introduced had already fallen by nearly 40%. So what are your options to reduce the cost of your break up?

  • Mediation
    Mediation is now compulsory before you can make an application to the court for a financial order. Mediators are trained to help resolve disputes over all issues for separating couples and will identify the issues you can’t agree on and help you to try and reach agreement. Mediators can’t give any advice and their decisions are not legally binding. This is probably one of the most cost effective ways to deal with your matrimonial proceedings where finances are involved.
  • The Collaborative process
    Under the collaborative process, each person appoints their own collaboratively trained lawyer. Both parties and your lawyers sign an agreement that commits you to trying to resolve the issues without going to court. You and your lawyers will all meet together to work things out face-to-face. Using your lawyer throughout the process  means you will have their support and legal advice as you go.
    See our factsheet which explains the collaborative process further.
  • Arbitration
    You and your partner can appoint an arbitrator, who will make a decision that will be final and binding between the parties, on any financial and property disputes arising from family relationships.

* Compiled by the Ministry of Justice published in September 2013

Choosing an option which suits you and your budget is a very personal thing. Our Family team are trained in mediation, collaborative law and arbitration and can help you decide which option is right for you. Contact the team on

0800 923 2074     Email

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