Can a Couple Share a Divorce Lawyer?
Can a couple share a divorce lawyer? You’ve made the decision to get a divorce, now its time to find a divorce lawyer. There’s the one you’re considering, but you discover your spouse has already retained that lawyer’s services. Now you are wondering whether you can still use the same lawyer for the divorce. The answer is no. You cannot share a divorce lawyer with your spouse. Here’s why:
The law prohibits spouses from sharing a divorce lawyer
The code of professional conduct that governs the legal profession prohibits a divorce lawyer from representing both spouses in a divorce. When a couple decides to get a divorce, they become opposing parties in a lawsuit, even if the divorce was a mutual and amicable decision. If a divorce lawyer was to represent both parties, this would be a conflict of interest as their ability to effectively represent one client would be hindered by their responsibilities to the other. For that reason, the lawyer would not be able to represent either party effectively.
The only way a divorce lawyer may help both you and your spouse finalize your divorce is if that lawyer is acting as a neutral mediator.
Mediation with a neutral divorce lawyer
If there are no complicated matters for you and your spouse to decide on, you may be able to use divorce mediation. Divorce mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that allows couples to reach a divorce settlement agreement without having to go through a lengthy court case. This method not only saves you time but also money.
If divorce mediation is a suitable option for you and your spouse, you may then use a divorce attorney to act as a mediator. In the role of a mediator, a divorce attorney will help you and your spouse to identify the significant issues in your divorces such as division of property, child custody and spousal support. A mediation lawyer will help you to understand family law and how it relates to your case as well. The lawyer may also help you and spouse to correctly fill out forms and exchange financial disclosure and draft your divorce agreement.
A mediation lawyer, however, cannot provide either party with legal advice. Therefore, you cannot truly know whether your rights are being protected. So, even if you decide to go through, the route of mediation, it would be helpful if you hire your own divorce lawyer to be present during the discussions.
If there is a breakdown in meditation and you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement, you will then need to go through the courts for a decision to be made in the matter. If that happens, both parties will need to hire divorce lawyers to present their case in court.
Are you searching for a divorce lawyer in Toronto?
If you are going through a divorce and need a mediator, legal representation or advice, contact us at Baker and Baker Family Law.
At Baker and Baker Family Law, our lawyers are as diverse as our practice. We all believe in mediation and alternative dispute resolution and have backgrounds that enable us to advocate on our clients’ behalf in various complex family law topics during the mediation process. And if mediation doesn’t work, our lawyers will fight to protect your rights in court.
So, what are you waiting for? Give us a call today to schedule a free legal consultation with one of our Toronto divorce lawyers. With our 90 years of combined experience, we are in a strong position to help.