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Why You Should Never Share a Lawyer Even in an Amiable Divorce

Going through a divorce is seldom easy. Even couples who have amicably decided to separate may encounter challenges as they divide assets and split their household. Issues pertaining to child custody and child support often lead to tension. Here are some reasons why it’s not recommended for a couple to share a divorce lawyer.

Divided Interests

Although many couples try to thoughtfully divide their marital assets, it can get dicey at times. If a divorce attorney is working for both spouses, it will be difficult for him or her to remain neutral, and there may be times when neutrality is not the best answer for an issue. Each spouse having a personal attorney can often reach more objective outcomes that are fair to both.

Confusing Perspectives

Even when things seem to be going great during a divorce, there will almost always be one or more situations when the couple will be unable to agree, and the attorney may feel caught in the middle. He or she may not know whose perspective is the correct one or which party deserves to make the final decision on something. Although everyone may mean well, a complex situation can evolve that will make things more complicated.

Time Factor

Trying to get three people’s schedules to line up consistently can be challenging. If one spouse meets with the attorney while the other cannot make it, the absent spouse may wonder if things were fairly represented without him or her being there to participate in negotiations. Court proceedings and document reviews with signatures can be difficult if everyone is on a different schedule. If the spouses have to meet separately with the attorney due to these schedule conflicts, this will require additional time and could add to the attorney fee when the bill is due.

Conflicts

When the two spouses meet with an attorney to work out an agreement, tensions can flare when everyone is face to face. It could be difficult for the attorney to maintain a proactive environment for the spouses as they deal with difficult issues they did not see coming or were not prepared to address. Working separately with different attorneys can help to keep things calm and positive for the most part.

A marital breakup can sometimes be handled more smoothly when each spouse has his or her own legal representation. Consider discussing the pros and cons of sharing an attorney before actually consulting one for that purpose.

Tim Esterdahl

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