I receive calls frequently from potential clients who are seeking an attorney to counsel the parties, together, for a divorce. This happens for a variety of reasons. You want to save money. You feel as if you are in agreement on many of the issues. You want the divorce to be amicable. You don’t think there are many issues to cause disagreements. Maybe you have little or no possessions to divide. While all of these may be true, an attorney may not represent, or counsel, both parties in a divorce together.
Attorneys are bound by certain ethical rules. Because each party has certain rights and entitlements that they must be advised of, our rules prevent us from counseling both parties to a divorce together. This is for your benefit.
Think about it. Even in the most agreeable divorce, each party has rights and entitlements. You should know what these are and be properly advised about them before you make any permanent decisions and sign an agreement. You must be free to discuss the issues, in the confidence of the attorney client privilege, to get proper advice. You must hear from counsel what you are entitled to, how the court usually views certain issues and what you should consider for each and every issue within the divorce proceeding. This is why you should have your own attorney to advise you about these decisions.
By no means do I mean to say that you cannot have an amicable divorce. It simply means that you each have a right to be counseled individually but cannot be counseled together. Once you are represented by counsel, and properly informed, your attorney will negotiate the matter and you will be an informed, educated litigant.
If you have further questions on this issue, please contact me and we can discuss!