If you are going through a divorce, you may be wondering why you and your spouse are unable to use the divorce lawyer. While many divorces occur amicably, it is still essential for each spouse to have his or her own attorney. There are various reasons why using the same attorney would be a conflict of interest and compromise the divorce proceedings.
Mutually Agreed Upon Documents
Even if you and your spouse agree upon the divorce documents that his lawyer drew up, you should always have your own Bergen County divorce lawyer review them. This is to ensure that your interests are being protected. Your spouse’s lawyer is legally and ethically bound to represent only your spouse, which creates an inherent bias in any consent agreements that are made. For this reason, your lawyer may suggest changes or request that the written agreement be redrafted to reflect your interests as well.
It is impossible for one lawyer to represent both spouses because doing so would be a direct conflict of interest. In fact, most states directly prohibit a lawyer from representing both parties in a divorce. Even if you have an amicable relationship with your spouse at the time of the divorce, your divorce lawyer is obligated to ensure that your interests are protected should the relationship turn adversarial at any point in the future.
Conflicts of Interest
There are various conflicts of interest that could occur when both spouses are represented by the same lawyer. Lawyers are required to think about the potential outcomes of all documentation in the future. For example, your lawyer may choose to ensure that your divorce agreement is written in such a way that it can be re-evaluated if there is a significant change to your spouse’s income in the future. If your alimony payments are based on your spouse’s current income, which raises significantly in the future, an alimony agreement that remains fixed may not be fair. Your spouse’s attorney is not obligated to make such considerations.
Contact a Bergen County Divorce Lawyer
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