Need Fierce Representation in Your Fort Worth Divorce Case? Our Lawyers Can Help.
Youngblood Law, PLLC represents clients during collaborative divorces and litigation.
Can My Attorney Represent Both Me and My Spouse in a Divorce?
Divorce can cause a significant financial burden on both parties involved. With dividing assets, having to change your living situation, and figuring out a new way of life without your spouse, the costs of everything can add up. In an effort to save time and money, divorcing couples sometimes consider hiring the same divorce lawyer to represent both parties.
However, having one divorce lawyer represent both parties in a divorce is not only a bad idea but also illegal under Texas divorce law. One lawyer cannot represent two adverse parties in a law suit. Even when a couple is in agreement about the terms of the divorce, the spouses are legally advesrse parties. To ensure a fair and amicable divorce, two spouses must have a separate divorce attorney protecting their best interests. At Youngblood Law, PLLC, we have a team of divorce attorneys that can help you get a favorable outcome for your divorce.
Our law firm understands how difficult it is to go through the divorce process and how important it is to maintain a good relationship with your family when possible. Our divorce attorneys prioritize mediation and we will do everything we can to avoid bringing your case through the court system. We offer the highest standard of legal assistance to all our clients and will fight to ensure that you get a fair settlement in your case.
Call 817-369-3970 today to schedule a consultation with our law firm.
Role of a Divorce Lawyer
The role of a divorce attorney is to guide you through the process of a divorce and protect your best interests. Your attorney should help you understand divorce proceedings and do everything in their power to avoid conflict. Some things your divorce lawyer will help you with include:
Your attorney should keep you informed throughout the divorce process and ensure that you understand the legal side of things. Your attorney should help you understand the laws on property division, child custody, and other matters pertaining to your divorce. They should then guide you in the decision-making process in consideration of your best interests.
A thoughtful lawyer will lay out options in the various stages of the proceedings and will share the potential pros and cons of the options. Your lawyer should also share the expected outcome based on his or her knowledge of the court you are in and the law. Helping clients make informed decisions is a crucial aspect of your attorney’s duty.
Divorces unfortunately involve a lot of documentation and paperwork. This process includes the Original Petition for Divorce, the Final Decree of Divorce, and all supporting documentation for your case. If you are filing a fault-based divorce, you must submit evidence supporting your claims. You must also provide documentation proving ownership of property and any other assets involved in the marriage.
Your attorney and legal staff will handle all the paperwork on your behalf and ensure that it meets the requirements. Your attorney should also submit all documentation to the courts on time and ensure that you do not miss any court dates.
Divorces require a lot of negotiation and communication. A married couple must come to a fair agreement on all things relating to their marriage, including their property, children, businesses, retirement plans, and other assets gained during the marriage. To come to an amicable agreement without involving the courts, you will need a skilled negotiator as an attorney. Your attorney can help you negotiate a fair divorce settlement through effective mediation.
Problems With Hiring the Same Divorce Lawyer
Hiring the same divorce attorney to represent both spouses during a divorce is prohibited under Texas divorce law. Spouses may want to hire the same divorce attorney to reduce legal fees or minimize conflict and avoid causing undue stress for those involved in the divorce case, including children.
However, having only one attorney representing both parties will lead to a conflict of interest in divorce. If only one lawyer were to represent both parties, the lawyer could not honestly and neutrally protect the best interests of both parties. Even if one attorney represented both spouses during the marriage for some legal issue, the same lawyer cannot represent both parties during a divorce.
Conflict of Interest
The major problem with hiring the same divorce lawyer is that there is a conflict of interest. If you and your spouse hire the same lawyer to represent you through the divorce process, there is no way of ensuring that your best interest is protected.
When you hire a divorce attorney, it is their job to protect your interests at all costs. This means ensuring that they get the best result possible for your case, with property division, asset division, spousal support, and child custody matters. Your lawyer has a fiduciary duty to you as a client. That means giving you the very best advice possible. However, advice that is good for you could be damaging to your spouse. Therefore the lawyer could not fulfill his or her duty to both you and your spouse.
If the same divorce attorney must represent both parties, they must consider both parties’ best interests during the divorce process. So, if you want to keep the family home that you purchased with your spouse, for example, but your spouse also wants to keep the family home, your divorce lawyer will be in a difficult situation. They could end up giving unequal legal advice to one party to prevent conflict between the parties.
To ensure that both parties’ best interests are protected, hiring a single attorney to represent both parties is not a good option. Having one attorney per party is the best way to protect your interests during a divorce and ensure you get the fairest outcome possible in your settlement agreement.
Another problem that arises when the same law firm or divorce lawyers represent both parties is the attorney-client privilege. Attorney-client privilege is standard legal practice under family law. This privilege means that information you disclose to your divorce lawyer during meetings, phone calls, and documentation passed between you and your lawyer cannot be disclosed to another party.
Any information you provide to your legal counsel must remain private and can be shared only with immediate legal staff in the law firm. If your spouse’s attorney is the same as your attorney, this information cannot remain private.
For example, if you tell your lawyer about separate assets that you do not want to get involved in the divorce, but your lawyer also represents the other spouse, their legal obligation gets quite complicated.
Hiring The Same Divorce Lawyer for Mediation
Most divorcing couples prefer to resolve issues through mediation rather than through court proceedings. With property division, asset division, and child custody issues, it is more favorable to come to a solution outside of the courtroom. To achieve a favorable outcome, divorcing couples may opt to hire a neutral attorney to act as a mediator.
With mediation, a neutral third party, which is usually an attorney or a court-appointed mediator, will help spouses agree on marital issues, such as property division. The mediator does not give separate advice to the parties involved but helps them come to a solution on important issues. During mediation, spouses can either represent themselves or hire their own divorce attorney to protect their interests.
Our law firm strongly recommends that the two parties have separate legal representation during the mediation process. Having your own attorney ensures that your needs and wishes can be communicated fairly and that you have a proper understanding of the issues at hand.
Can My Attorney Represent Both Me and My Spouse in a Divorce?
Under Texas law, a divorce attorney cannot represent both spouses in a divorce. Having the same attorney during a divorce can lead to serious problems, such as a conflict of interest and breaches in attorney-client privilege. With both spouses having the same attorney, it is extremely difficult to protect the best interests of both parties and ensure that the settlement is neutral.
The only way to achieve a fair settlement in a divorce and to ensure that both parties are afforded the same level of legal representation is to hire separate attorneys. Having your own attorney ensures that your best interest is protected and that you get the settlement that you are entitled to.
Contact Youngblood Law, PLLC Today!
At Youngblood Law, PLLC, we have a team of highly experienced divorce lawyers that can help protect your best interests during a divorce. Our lawyers work tirelessly to provide clients with the highest standard of legal representation. Our goal is to protect your legal rights, ensure that you are duly informed throughout the process, and get the most favorable outcome possible for your case.
Four of the attorneys in our law firm are Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, which is a recognition given to just 1% of family law attorneys in Texas. We care about helping clients achieve an amicable divorce.
If you hire us as your legal representative, you will benefit from our many years of professional experience.
Call our law firm today to arrange a consultation with a top-quality divorce lawyer at 817-369-3970.