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The Co-operative Bank has partnered with DWF law firm who will refer clients to the bank in order to be provided with loan facilities to fund the legal costs of divorce.
Matrimonial dispute loans commonly allow those who depend on incomes from their estranged spouses to instruct divorce lawyers. However following the banking crisis many banks stopped offering the loans or tightened their lending policies.
David Pickering, head of family law and private client, DWF said: "Married couples are tied financially even if they separate until there is a binding financial settlement. It is important that a couple once separated reaches a financial settlement as soon as possible to include where achievable a clean break agreement on the basis that after provision for children there are no ongoing financial commitments .
"This loan facility is particularly useful to help fund cases where the wealth is tied up in assets that cannot be unlocked until a settlement is reached."
The Co-operative Legal Services (CLS) has also been preparing to expand its legal advice services to non-members in advance of the legal market opening up when new Legal Services Act is implemented in October.
Bristol based CLS announced last month that it plans to increase its workforce by 10 per cent in 2011 from the 330 staff it currently employs. Launched in 2006 CLS' managing director, Eddie Ryan, said that the division has grown much more quickly than expected.
"Customers feel that solicitors communicate with them poorly, use jargon that is confusing and don't understand how services are priced. The shake-up that the new Act offers is absolutely necessary if legal services are to become more accessible to customers.
"We believe that the presence of the Co-operative's trusted brand in the market place, together with our combination of first class products and services, provides customers with both greater accessibility and better value for money."
According to its website, CLS does not currently provide family law services but does cover will writing, probate & estate administration, conveyancing, employment and personal injury claims.
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