Check If You Qualify

What happens if I can’t afford divorce legal fees?

Sharon McDougall - Updated - 1st May 2024 - 2 minutes to read

What financial support is available to pay for my divorce?

*Please note we can't assist with marriage counselling or legal advice relating to divorce. We can help if you are based in Scotland and struggling with personal debts due to divorce or financial recklessness from your partner.

The emotional strain of divorce can be overwhelming, and further exacerbated by uncertainty over money. Divorce is typically an expensive process, so what happens if you can’t afford to pay your divorce legal fees?

Is Legal Aid available in Scotland?

Although Legal Aid has been largely phased out in England, except for such cases as domestic violence, it’s still available for people living in Scotland. Assessment for Legal Aid is based on your income, levels of savings/investments, and the value of your assets apart from your home.

Legal Aid is essentially a loan, however, and if you receive a settlement in your divorce case the Legal Aid Board will aim to recover some or all of the Legal Aid payment. You’ll qualify automatically for Legal Aid in Scotland if you receive any of the following benefits:

You can check whether or not you qualify automatically on the Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB) website.

Scotland Debt Calculator

Get a rough indication of what your repayments might be under each of our different debt solutions.

Your Total Debt

£0 - £5,000

£5,000 - £10,000

£10,000 - £20,000


Your Employment Status

I am employed

I am self-employed

I am unemployed

I am a student

I am retired

Your Total Monthly Income

£0 - £1,000

£1,000 - £2,000

£2,000 - £3,000


What can you pay monthly towards your debt?

£0 - £100

£100 - £200

£200 - £300


What should I consider for litigation loans?

Borrowing money to pay for a divorce isn’t the best option, but if you’re likely to receive a significant financial settlement or high value assets from the divorce, specialist lenders may be willing to sanction a loan to pay for your legal fees.

This would typically be secured against an asset, possibly your home, so the lender reduces their risk. Further considerations when taking out a litigation loan include the interest rate, whether this is applied for the entire loan or only on the amounts drawn down, and the level of administration charges.

Award of expenses

In some divorce cases one party is made liable for the other person’s divorce fees. Clearly, divorce is a complicated situation and every case is different, but your partner could potentially be made liable to pay some or all of your divorce legal fees.

Free consultation with a professional

Some solicitors offer free initial consultations during which time you can find out more about the potential costs of your divorce case, and the payment options that might be available to you.

It’s important to seek advice from a range of professionals prior to making any decisions, however, and licensed insolvency practitioners can provide vital information on money and debt before and after your divorce.

They’ll explain the implications of taking out a loan or using a credit card to pay your legal fees, and the different debt solutions that could help if necessary. These include the Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS), for example, which is backed by the Scottish government.

A Scottish Trust Deed is another debt remedy that helps you escape debt over a period of time. You repay your unsecured debts within a formal agreement, and debts remaining at the end of the term are written off.

Our partner-led team at Scotland Debt Solutions are debt specialists, and can offer you a same-day meeting free-of-charge at one of our offices around Scotland. We’ll explain the options that might be available to you, and offer reliable guidance and support.

facebook colour icon twitter colour icon linkedin colour icon messenger colour icon whatsapp colour icon email colour icon
Sharon McDougall Square

Sharon McDougall


Other Articles

Can I borrow money whilst I’m in a Trust Deed? Can I Borrow Money

Can I borrow money whilst I’m in a Trust Deed?

Borrowing money when you’re already deeply in debt requires careful consideration, and consultation with your trustee, as there are various factors associated with further borrowing in this situatio...

Your guide to getting a mortgage after a Trust Deed Guide to get a mortgage

Your guide to getting a mortgage after a Trust Deed

If you’re about to be discharged from a Trust Deed, you may be wondering to what extent your ability to obtain a mortgage has been affected.

What is an inhibition court order in Scotland? Court Order

What is an inhibition court order in Scotland?

If you’ve lost your job, state benefits and tax credits can provide vital financial support to see you through this tough time and help you avoid taking on too much debt while you look for more work...


Why Choose Us

Usp Discussion

Speak Direct With

A Qualified Adviser


We Don't Operate

Call Centres

Usp Location

5 Offices in Scotland

National Coverage

Usp House

Ask us About

Home Visits

Usp Award

Fully Regulated Advisors

From a Reputable Firm

Usp Hand Heart

Helping Scots Get

Out of Debt Since 1989

We'll give you a call

Our Scottish based team can help advise you on your debt problems.

Here at Scotland Debt Solutions we take your privacy seriously and will only use your personal information to contact you with regards to your enquiry. We will not use your information for marketing purposes. See our Privacy Policy.


Useful Tools

Personalised Debt Report
Usp Planner

Personalised Debt Report

Our personalised debt report will help you better understand your financial position and see where your money is going.

Debt Report
Instant Scheduled Call & WhatsApp

Instant Scheduled Call & WhatsApp

Arrange a call with an expert advisor at a time to suit you or contact our team via WhatsApp for immediate help and advice.

Arrange Callback
Find a Local Office
Usp Signpost

Find a Local Office

We have five offices located across Scotland. Find your nearest one here.

Find an Office


We can help you with...



Sequestration is the Scottish version of bankruptcy and may be suitable for you if you do not have the money to pay back your debts

Find out More
Trust Deeds in Scotland

Trust Deeds in Scotland

A Trust Deed involves making a monthly contribution to your debts for up to four years. After this time any remaining debt included in the Trust Deed will not need to be paid.

Find out More
Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS)

Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS)

A Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) lets you pay off your debt through a series of manageable instalments over a reasonable length of time.

Find out More
Business Debts
Icon Briefcase

Business Debts

Whether you are a sole trader or a limited company director, we can help you work through your current financial problems including money owed to HMRC

Business Debts

Our Insolvency Practitioners are regulated by ICAS or the IPA and our firm is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

Fees and Information: There are fees associated with our services. These will be fully explained before entering into any of the personal debt solutions referred to on this website. Full details of our fees and how these are charged are fully explained to you prior to you committing to any particular service.

ICAS Insolvency Practitioners