Traditionally, divorcing couples each hire a lawyer to represent and protect their interests when negotiating divorce-related matters. This can often lead to a tense and hostile court process. If you and your spouse have already agreed to the terms of your divorce, hiring the same divorce lawyer to represent you and your spouse may be a good decision. It can save you money on legal bills and time on the back-and-forth communication between different legal teams. Sharing a divorce lawyer is tempting, but make sure to consider all angles before making this choice.
When Can a Couple Share a Divorce Lawyer?
Couples can share a divorce lawyer in a few different situations. These include when:
The divorce is uncontested
An uncontested divorce is when you and your spouse agree on all aspects of your divorce, like the distribution of marital assets and custody of any children. After completing specific paperwork and starting the divorce process, your divorce lawyer can prepare and file a draft consent order, making the agreement’s terms binding. This avoids the risk of either party changing their mind in the future. Signing the draft consent order can mean you consent to the divorce’s provisions. In such a case, you and your spouse only need one lawyer to draft and file the document.
Your lawyer is your divorce mediator
If your case is straightforward and relatively conflict-free, you may be able to resolve any outstanding issues with a divorce lawyer acting as a mediator. This lawyer represents neither party. Instead, their responsibility is to help parties agree on every aspect of the divorce. Once everyone agrees on the division of liabilities, issues related to support, child custody and visitations, your lawyer will submit the signed agreement to the court for approval.
When Shouldn’t a Couple Share a Divorce Lawyer?
It’s not always advisable to share a divorce lawyer for reasons including:
Conflict of interest
Fiduciary duty requires lawyers to operate in their clients’ best interests. No matter how well you and your ex-partner get along or work together, you’re still at odds during the divorce process. Representing both parties can be a conflict of interest because the best interests of each party aren’t necessarily aligned. If the court believes there is a conflict of interest, it won’t accept any decisions because of the risk of undue influence.
Divorce proceedings can be unpleasant and aggressive. Parents going through a divorce may initially agree on a parenting plan but disagree on other issues. Contentious topics like property, money, and children can escalate civil discussions into combative exchanges. You need an experienced Surrey divorce lawyer to advocate for you and help you navigate the legal process successfully.
Why Should You Hire Your Own Lawyer?
It’s important to have a legal representative working for you and you alone. Lawyers help with the following:
- Seeking and filing restraining orders, child support, child custody and spousal support payments
- Protecting your financial interests and aiding the objective valuation of debts and assets
- Advocating for the best interests of your children, especially if one parent is manipulative, violent, abusive or suffering from mental illness
Are You Looking for a Divorce Lawyer in Surrey?
If you’re planning to file for divorce in Surrey, contact ALG Lawyers.
Our expert divorce lawyers will help you reach a speedy resolution and minimize the expense and length of a courtroom trial.