“Legal Services Orders” in matrimonial matters

Coinciding with the drastic changes to the availability of legal aid in family proceedings, from 1st April 2013 the Court may make a “legal services order” in divorce/civil partnership/judicial separation and connected financial cases to require a party to make payment to their spouse/civil partner for their legal costs.

A legal services order may be made if the Court is satisfied:-

–           that without the payment, the applicant party would not reasonably be able to obtain appropriate legal services for the purposes of the whole or part of the proceedings;

–          that the applicant is not reasonably likely to be able to secure a loan/charge over assets (including those recovered in the proceedings) to pay for the legal services.

The new legislation provides that a legal services order may be for a specified period of time or for the purposes of a specified part of the proceedings, and that it may provide for payment of all or part of the amount ordered by instalments, which may be secured or deferred in whole or part.

A legal services order may be varied by the Court at any time in the proceedings if the Court considers that there has been a material change of circumstances since the order was made.

For further information and advice please contact our Family team – family@blasermills.co.uk