Can we use one lawyer for our divorce?

Many couple desire to use one lawyer for their divorce. This is particularly true when they want to settle their divorce outside of court.

When they hear that in that each party has their own collaborative divorce lawyer, these same individuals are often dismayed. They do not two lawyers. Instead, they want one divorce lawyer to do the whole case.

They want this lawyer to represent both of them. They might even worry that by having two lawyers involved, the process will become adversarial.

Is it possible for two parties going through a divorce to use the same lawyer? The answer to that question is a firm “no.”

The reality is that ethical rules bar one lawyer from representing both parties in a divorce. The reason is that it would be a conflict of interest for both parties to be represented by one divorce lawyer. Put simply, a lawyer cannot give independent advice when representing both parties.

Some retort back that they know of individuals that only had one divorce lawyer handle the case. If that was the situation, then one party to the divorce had a lawyer. The other party to the divorce, however, could not have had a lawyer. Instead, they represented themselves pro se.

Not having legal counsel in a divorce is almost always a mistake. The effect of these cases can be long-lasting. This can always be true. However, it can be particularly true where there are children and assets of significant value.

If parties want to settle their case outside of court, but they both want legal advice in terms of the pros and the cons to be given to them, a collaborative divorce can be a great option to consider. In a collaborative divorce, each party has their own lawyer. However, the lawyer is trained in the collaborative process.

This means that it does not get adversarial. Instead, the collaborative divorce lawyers work within the collaborative process to help the parties settle their case amicably outside of court.

If you are interested in a collaborative divorce, contact the Missouri Collaborative Institute today.

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