The New York Times, exploring a concept new to divorce law, discussed niche firms emerging that will invest in divorce cases to help a spouse who has little or no control over family finances identify marital assets, pay for litigation to get a fair property settlement and fair support.
One of these firms was founded by Stacey Napp, a lawyer by training who has spent her career in finance. She used money she obtained from her own divorce to establish Balance Point last year. She has since provided more than $2 million to 10 women seeking divorces. She says she is helping to ensure both sides can defend their interests.
“Everybody knows somebody where at the end of the day, the divorce was not equitable,” she said. “We want to help those people, the underdog, to make sure they get their fair share.”
Divorce cases may be a promising niche for lenders because costs can mount quickly — some top lawyers in Los Angeles charge more than $500 an hour — and because state laws uniformly require plaintiffs to pay lawyers upfront, rather than promising them a contingency fee, or a share of any winnings, as is common in other civil cases.
You may read Taking Sides in a Divorce, Chasing Profit, by Binyamin Appelbaum, published in the NY Times on December 4, 2010 here.