Whilst divorce proceedings are underway, each party requires funding to carry on their usual day-to-day activities. So, in situations where one side holds the purse strings, what are the options?
Interim maintenance/maintenance pending suit (MPS) application
When one party hasn’t got access to funds to cover their day-to-day needs, or they feel they are receiving insufficient monthly maintenance they may choose to make an interim maintenance application.
For example, if an individual requires £5,000 per month for their living expenses but they are being paid insufficient interim maintenance of say £3,000 per month, there is a top up of £2,000 per month requir
‘make do’ until the case concludes, which may lead the other party to argue that they can live on a lower monthly sum even after conclusion of the proceedings. ; or
make an interim maintenance application
Interim maintenance applications can be lengthy, disproportionately expensive and have unpredictable outcomes. An interim maintenance application will often cost £10,000 - £20,000 (for each party) meaning an additional £20,000 - £40,000 out of the matrimonial pot. This is a great deal of expense for an award which lasts only until the final financial order from the divorce.
Living expenses loans
In addition to legal fee loans, Level also offer separate facilities to cover living expenses, alleviating the impact on your day-to-day life. This can remove the need to make a costly interim maintenance application.
A living expenses loan can be used to ‘top up’ monthly maintenance, avoiding the delay and distraction of MPS proceedings and enabling clients and lawyers to get to the heart of the financial remedy proceedings more quickly. In circumstances where the financially stronger party seeks to restrict maintenance to their ex-partner to ‘starve’ them out of the litigation, these loans can relieve that pressure allowing the financially weaker party to obtain their fair share of the matrimonial assets.
A living expenses loan can also be a useful tool where a client has previously had to borrow money from a friend or relative to fund legal fees up front. Whilst the client may genuinely intend to repay the loan to their friend or relative, their spouse might argue that it should be considered a soft loan with no timescale for repayment. On the other hand, a living expenses loan is a hard financial debt which must be repaid. Because this type of facility has an unrestricted use, it gives the client the option to repay their friend or family member before receipt of their settlement leaving the loan to sit on the asset schedule as a harder, vouchsafed debt.