Divorce is a complex process for both parties and can take a huge emotional toll. Ending a marriage can bring up difficult emotions such as sadness, regret, fear, and anger. The process can also be a source of financial strain, as the parties must divide up assets and liabilities. In addition, the process can be a long and drawn-out affair, with legal matters to consider and court appearances to attend.
Some divorcing couples consider hiring one lawyer to take care of the whole process to save money and have a straightforward divorce process. However, even if you weren’t married for long, did not have children, and did not accumulate a lot of properties, most states will bar you from sharing a divorce lawyer. Even in states that allow it, most lawyers will still not accept the job because it violates their code of ethics.
Lawyering for Two Parties Is Unethical, Even If They Will It
Bar Associations restrict lawyers from representing spouses because of the conflict of interests inherent in advocating for two opposing clients. Both clients may agree on most, or even all, divorce terms, but what is best for one spouse may not align with what is best for the other spouse. This precludes a lawyer from being able to ethically advocate for both parties, even when it may not necessarily be forbidden under state law.
Conflicts of Interest
When a lawyer represents both spouses in a divorce, an inherent conflict of interest can arise. Even when both spouses agree on all issues, the lawyer cannot advocate for both parties ethically. This is because what is best for one spouse may not be in the best interest of the other spouse.
For example, if one spouse wants to keep the marital home and the other spouse wants to sell it, the lawyer cannot ethically advocate for both sides. This is because advocating for one side would be to the detriment of the other. The lawyer must choose between advocating for one spouse or the other.
To protect clients from this conflict of interest, the American Bar Association has set forth guidelines restricting lawyers from representing spouses in a divorce. This ensures that each spouse is properly represented and the lawyer’s conflicting interests do not compromise their interests.
Understanding the potential conflicts of interest that can arise when a lawyer is representing both spouses in a divorce is essential. The American Bar Association has set forth guidelines to protect clients from being taken advantage of in divorce proceedings. It is important to remember that the lawyer cannot ethically advocate for both parties even when both spouses agree on all issues. This is because what is best for one spouse may not be in the best interest of the other spouse.
Go For Mediation
For couples who want a speedier divorce process, there is still one option they can take: go for mediation. A mediator is a neutral third party who helps two people or groups reach a mutually acceptable agreement to resolve a dispute.
The mediator works with both sides to help them communicate more effectively and to identify areas of agreement and disagreement. They will then assist the two sides in negotiating a settlement that both parties can accept.
At the end of the process, the mediator may recommend that both parties have their attorneys review the settlement before signing to ensure that the agreement is legally binding and in their best interests.
Divorce is a difficult decision, but with the proper steps, you can ensure that your rights are protected and reach a fair agreement for both parties. Be sure to consult with a qualified attorney before making any decisions.
Divorce can be difficult, but life after it doesn’t have to be. You can’t go wrong with going for Toriseva Law, the best divorce lawyers in Wheeling. Contact us today to learn more.