People often ask the question: Can one attorney represent both sides of a divorce? It sounds simple, but divorce cases are more complicated than that. One attorney representing both sides of the case could create a conflict of interest. Here’s a breakdown of the different kinds of conflicts of interest in divorce cases. One lawyer may have a more pronounced conflict than the other. In such cases, a lawyer’s best interest is at stake.
Conflict of interest
Attorneys cannot represent both parties in a divorce. One spouse’s interests may be incompatible with the other spouse’s. In order to ensure that their clients’ best interests are represented, attorneys should only represent their own clients’ interests. Otherwise, they would be violating the Rules of Professional Conduct of the State Bar. Moreover, attorneys who represent both parties are likely to be biased in their representation, which could hurt their clients.
It’s difficult to decide which side will be best represented in a divorce case if the attorneys are representing both sides. For instance, the spouses may agree to split the marital assets equally, but disagree on issues like child support or shared residential responsibility. Likewise, the two parties may not agree on the calculation of child support income. In this scenario, the attorney may try to hide marital assets or restructure the property settlement to benefit one spouse or the other.
Cost of hiring a divorce lawyer
The cost of hiring a divorce lawyer can be an expensive proposition. However, you can make the process cheaper by choosing an unbundled legal service. This type of representation allows clients to select only the services that they need, saving you thousands of dollars. The unbundled services are often called limited scope representation, and they allow you to pay your lawyer only for the services you require. For example, if you only need assistance with your child custody matter, you can simply hire your lawyer to handle that part of the proceedings.
In general, attorneys charge between $300 and $500 an hour for their services, but some lawyers offer alternative billing methods that reduce the cost. Typically, a divorce lawyer will charge between $10,000 and $15,000 per spouse. While legal fees make up the majority of this cost, other costs can quickly add up. For example, if you have children and assets, the cost could be much higher. However, you can often negotiate a lower cost by hiring a paralegal who can do the work for you.
Getting a recommendation from a spouse’s lawyer
Getting a recommendation from a spouses’ divorce lawyer can be a good idea, but you should conduct due diligence before retaining the attorney. Whether your spouse used a particular attorney or not, you should be totally honest with him or her about the costs, issues, and problems. You should also avoid hiring someone who is related to your spouse, as this could turn into an enemy. Likewise, hiring your spouse’s family member to represent your divorce can lead to a new family feud.
While it is perfectly fine to get a referral from a spouse’s divorce lawyer, you should consider the following points when choosing your attorney. First, make sure your spouse is amenable to a collaborative process. This approach reduces the stress and cost of divorce while allowing the divorce to be final. Secondly, make sure you choose an attorney who is experienced in divorce law.
Choosing a divorce lawyer
Choosing a divorce lawyer who represents both parties can be an excellent decision. While it is difficult to choose between two attorneys who share the same interest, choosing one who represents both parties can help minimize the stress and expense of the divorce process. In many cases, the same attorney can act as both a mediator and an advocate for each party, saving both parties time and money. However, the decision to use one attorney for both sides should only be made after the parties are on good terms and have agreed to use the same attorney.
During a divorce, the legal process can be complicated. For example, divorce lawyers are experienced in complex issues. When there are children involved, the process can be even more complicated. When alimony is involved, it is important to find a lawyer who has experience in this area. This attorney will ensure that you receive the amount of alimony you are owed. Even if your divorce is uncontested, you may still be able to get spousal support and alimony.
(For more articles like this, click here: Do I Need a Divorce Attorney?)