I just read about this in an article by Paul Sullivan in The New York Times.
Sullivan writes: What happens when an acrimonious separation leaves one half of a wealthy couple broke? Increasingly, the penniless partner will turn to a so-called divorce funding company during a protracted court battle to help pay for living expenses and legal fees. The firms work by loaning less-moneyed people quick cash so they can pursue court settlements against their deep-pocketed former partners. In most cases, the companies lend around 20 to 20 percent of the value of an expected settlement, which tends to average about $1 million. Most firms charge 12 to 18 percent interest a year, while others take a double-digit percentage of the final settlement. The firms justify the high rates by arguing that they level the playing field against the moneyed spouse who can otherwise force the one without money to settle.
Here in New Mexico, I think this is completely unnecessary. If you leave a marriage where the other person made most of the community money, after filing for divorce, also make a motion for interim spousal support, interim child support (if you have the kids), and a motion for attorneys' fees. I have found that the New Mexico courts want the playing field to be as level as possible from the start of the action.
At the very least, get some good legal information before borrowing money from a divorce funding company.