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Can You and Your Spouse Share a Divorce Lawyer in Texas?

Just this week, we received an email from someone wanting to know if she and her husband could share a divorce lawyer, as they are in “agreement about everything” and want to cut down on costs and make the divorce process as easy as possible.

We get this question a lot. Obviously, most couples would like to end their marriage as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. Unfortunately, sharing a divorce lawyer isn’t the way to cut corners. In Texas – or anywhere for that matter – it’s a conflict of interest for an attorney to represent both parties in a divorce, child custody case, or any other lawsuit.

In this article, we will explain why the attorneys at Varghese Summersett Family Law Group will not represent both sides in a divorce or family law matter and offer alternative solutions to consider. But first, please watch this video by Fort Worth divorce attorney Turner Thornton.

Why is it a conflict for both parties to share a divorce lawyer?

Even if spouses say they agree on absolutely everything in a divorce, this is usually not the case. Inevitably, something will come up that one spouse wants and the other does not. If you have the same lawyer, this can put your attorney in a difficult position.

Your lawyer is duty-bound to represent both of you to the best of his or her ability, but if you have opposing interests, this is impossible. The attorney cannot recommend something to one party that is adverse to the other party.

This is an obvious conflict of interest. It’s also against the code of ethics for Texas attorneys to give legal advice to opposing parties of the same lawsuit. That’s why it’s not possible to share a divorce lawyer – at least not at our law firm.

Are there some other options that would keep costs down without sharing a divorce lawyer?

If the divorce is truly amicable, there are a couple of alternatives that might work for you and your spouse:

* One spouse hires a lawyer, while the other spouse goes unrepresented.
One spouse can hire an attorney, who can draft the final agreed, or uncontested, divorce, on behalf of his or her client. It will then be presented to the unrepresented spouse to review and sign. Even if the draft looks good to the unrepresented spouse, it’s advisable for the unrepresented party to at least have another attorney review the agreement.

* Hire a mediator.
If you pursue a divorce through mediation, both parties will meet with a mediator who is a neutral third party. The mediator helps the couple come to an agreement on all aspects of their divorce, from property division, to child custody, visitation and support. The mediator then drafts a Mediated Settlement Agreement (MSA), which is filed with the court. With this alternative, there is no need to go to court and you will save on attorneys fees.

Ready to Proceed with Divorce in Fort Worth? Contact Us.

If you and your spouse are ready to file for divorce in Fort Worth, the best way to proceed is for both parties to have their own independent attorneys. This ensures that both parties have separate legal representation and that their interests are being considered every step of the way.

The attorneys at Varghese Summersett Family Law Group strive to make the divorce process as painless as possible. We will work to dissolve your marriage as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. We have handled hundreds of uncontested divorces, and we can handle yours, too. If you have any questions or would like to set up a consultation, please contact us today at (817) 900-3220.

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