Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Client Question - Do Both Parties in a Divorce Proceeding Need an Attorney?

A client recently asked me if both parties in a divorce need a lawyer or could it be done with one lawyer?

The answer I give is that I always recommend both parties get a lawyer. While a divorce case may seem easy at first, it can often turn ugly, parties can change their minds, or what was thought to be in agreement, turns out not to be so. When only one party has a lawyer, the paperwork prepared, although could be fair, it is usually drafted in the clients best interest. An attorney cannot represent both sides of a conflict, which poses a conflict of interest as well.

The court will have any party that wishes to go forward pro-se (without an attorney) sign and notarize an affidavit that it was recommended that they hire a lawyer, and that they are declining to do so.

Therefore, it would be in your best interest to always get a lawyer, divorce lawyers in cases that are uncontested often offer a flat fee.


No comments: