Divorce is a legal process used to end a marriage. Even if you and your spouse agree that the marriage is broken and cannot be fixed, your separation is not final until a judge signs off on it. You may wonder, in this amicable state, can you both use the same attorney? While one attorney can do the bulk of the work, having two is recommended for a few reasons.
Representation in Court
When spouses can’t agree, they may not need many appearances in court. Can one lawyer represent both before a judge? A divorcing couple cannot engage the services of a single attorney to advocate for them both. This is because one attorney cannot fairly serve the purposes of each spouse. Even if you both agree, there may be some issue that a lawyer would point out is unfair to one of you. How can they do that without putting their other client, your spouse, in a bad spot? Thus, when it comes to representation in court and otherwise, a single lawyer does not cut it.
The Mediation or Collaborative Experience
You and your spouse may agree on almost every matter except one. If this happens, you must negotiate and compromise to get an agreement on all required issues. Money, debt and children are usually the issues that cause the most strife and disagreement in divorce. Therefore, you may be well-served to consider mediation or collaborative divorce proceedings. In mediation, you do not need an attorney, but you may want one. The process takes place with a neutral party who helps you get to a compromise on the issues. In a collaborative divorce, you will need your own attorney. This process involves a series of meetings between attorneys and spouses to get a full agreement squared away.
It is typical for one attorney to prepare the final divorce paperwork once an agreement is reached. If you rely on your spouse’s attorney, you must have a keen eye to ensure that everything is as you agreed upon. A judge will not let you use the excuse that you did not have an attorney looking at the documents should an objection to them arise. The court recommends that both spouses have their own representation to ensure the divorce is lawful and fair.
A divorce lawyer also gives you a support person to turn to should you need it. Since they are well-versed in handling all aspects of a divorce, they can handle all questions you may have. Think about getting a lawyer to help early in the process, to avoid wasting valuable time and money.