The cost of a divorce can be extremely expensive when you take into account legal fees, expert witness fees and court fees especially in a complicated matter where the parties have significant assets.
Sometimes clients have sufficient money to pay these fees or they are able to borrow from friends or family members.
Sometimes a lawyer will enter into an agreement with a client to wait to be paid until the client receives a settlement. Often the lawyer will take a mortgage on the spouse’s home to secure payment of their legal fees.
There is a company in Britain called Novitas that provides divorce funding that will soon be coming to Canada. Novitas does not work with litigants directly but they work with the law firm. They are extremely careful to determine that the litigant has a high probability of obtaining a settlement which will be sufficient to repay the loan in full including the 18% interest that they charge for the loan.
To quote John-Paul Boyd, director of the non-profit Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family, “It would be nice if this was an access-to-justice thing but this is sort of access to justice for the Real Housewives of Vancouver.”
Deborah A. Todd