Divorce is depicted in such varying ways and in so many different lights on television and in the movies that couples in the real world may hold jaded and shaded perceptions of reality when they find themselves facing one in real life. Some TV shows have the characters going for the jugular vein, so to speak, with each party threatening to wipe out the other mate financially. Other TV programs or movies depict both marriage partners in total agreement as to the division of property and finances, seeming to be walking through a bed of tulips instead of going through a life-altering circumstance.
Having seen the latter scenario portrayed on the big screen, some couples may feel like they can amicably steer their divorce ship through divorce waters alone, without the aid of a divorce attorney. Or, maybe they even begin to toss around the idea of both using the same attorney. Let’s look at some aspects of whether or not both parties in a divorce can use the same Fort Bend County divorce attorney.
The Ethical Rules for Attorney Representation
First, it is important to understand what it means for a lawyer to represent someone. There are ethical rules in place that govern what a lawyer may and may not do. For example, rules are in place regarding proper ways to do business with clients and former clients, how an attorney may advertise, and the requirement for an attorney to be honest with other lawyers and court judges. When an attorney has spent time conversing with one spouse regarding the breakdown of a marriage relationship and has discussed possible legal actions with this spouse, there is a potential client relationship forming with the attorney, and it must be ethically considered. A divorce attorney can legally represent, technically and in fact, only one of the parties in a divorce case.
Let’s look at the conflict of interest that could arise if one attorney were to represent both the husband and the wife in a divorce. Even if both parties feel like they are friends now, a relationship is changing via the separation of two people who have been together as a couple, but will now be living separate lives. Feelings can change overnight. While both spouses may seem to get along at the outset of the divorce, it is common for contentious issues to arise during the process.
Consider that there may likely come a time when the best interest of one spouse is not the same as the best interest of the other spouse. There is no feasible way that an attorney could possibly look out for the best interest of both parties in such a situation. This scenario would present a conflict of interest for the attorney, and is a good reason why both parties in a divorce cannot have the same legal representation.
Should Both Parties in a Divorce Share an Attorney?
In looking at the potential issues that might arise both parties in the divorce may seek to receive as much marital property as possible, causing a major dilemma if both shared a lawyer. Additionally, one spouse could try to hide marital assets in an attempt to get more child support from the other spouse. An attorney could not ethically represent each separate party faithfully in such conflicts given in these examples.
In some cases, one spouse may hire an attorney and offer the other spouse an opportunity to be included in the use of this attorney’s legal services. It could appear that this is being done simply out of the goodness of the first spouse’s heart and as a way to potentially save some money for each of them. However, this could actually be a cloaked attempt by the first spouse to gain an unfair advantage over the other spouse.
In an attempt to save even more money, some people consider going through a divorce without the legal help of a lawyer at all. According to advice from the best Fort Bend divorce attorney available, this is a very bad idea for a number of reasons. No matter how friendly and agreeable your mate seems at the start of the divorce, the demeanor can instantly change. Additionally, it is not wise to agree to life-changing conditions without consulting legal counsel, because such an agreement could put you into financial hot water somewhere down the road. Even if the paperwork seems fair on the surface, some of the conditions or terms could eventually skew the agreement more favorably toward your mate in the future.
Contact Your Fort Bend Divorce Attorney
So, instead of trying to wade through the legalities of a divorce with no legal representation at all or hoping to join with the same lawyer your mate has chosen, consider speaking with the best Fort Bend divorce attorney available, Vonda Covington, who has a wealth of experience and wisdom to help guide you to a successful resolution. In a life-changing situation like divorce, don’t leave your future to chance.