28 Aug 4 Reasons Each Spouse Needs Their Own Divorce Attorney
There’s no doubting it: going through a divorce has the potential to be a challenging process for all parties involved. The most obvious difficulty is the potential stress that comes with separating from your spouse, and all of the ways in which this affects your friends, family, and loved ones. However, there are other issues to deal with as well: monetary issues, such as the equitable division of property, child support, and alimony; child custody issues; and other legal concerns depending on the state in which you reside and the circumstance in which you are in.
That’s why couples going through a divorce hire divorce attorneys, who focus in cases of divorce and legal separation and who can advise them on how to proceed with the divorce and what their options are. Sometimes, a single attorney represents both parties to the divorce. However, there are numerous reasons why each spouse should hire his or her own divorce attorney. Below is a list of four reasons to hire a separate divorce attorney for each spouse.
1. Each Spouse’s Attorney Works on Their Client’s Behalf
The divorce process is complicated, and the numerous steps that are involved are made easier when there are two attorneys to handle them – one representing each spouse. Furthermore, if the terms of the divorce (or the divorce itself) are contested, then each spouse already has an attorney ready to take the process to trial, if need be.
2. Confidential & Privileged Information
If you tell your attorney private information, he/she cannot share it with your spouse. The attorney-client privilege protects the confidentiality of (almost) anything that a client tells his or her private attorney. The attorney recipient of confidential information is not legally required to disclose this information to anyone. In fact may, the attorney be disbarred for speaking out publicly about a client’s personal details. As a result, you can be sure that your attorney won’t disclose any private information to your spouse or your spouse’s attorney without your consent. This can prove useful for several reasons. Whatever your intention for keeping potentially embarrassing information private, you can rest assured knowing that you can talk to your lawyer without hesitation or fear that your personal information will be disclosed.
3. Ensures Your Interests are Represented
It’s an ugly truth, but in many cases, divorce simply does not turn out to be a process in which all of your interests are aligned with your soon to be ex-spouse. Each spouse may want to “get more” out of the divorce than the other, particularly where the division of property and child custody are concerned. Both parents may want to have custody of their child, and both may want to receive a favorable property settlement. In cases involving alimony and child support, one spouse may want to receive it while the other may not want to pay it. As a result, a fair amount of tension ensues.
Sharing a single attorney may not be the best way to solve these problems, because the attorney’s primary concern is not necessarily getting each client what they want, but simply getting them to agree to the terms of the divorce. As a result, one or both may end up accepting terms that they don’t actually want. The clearest way to solve this problem is to have an attorney represent each spouse. When this happens, each client can be sure that their individual needs and wants are attended to, and that their attorney will advocate on their behalf to make sure that they get exactly what they need out of the divorce. After the divorce is over, it’s usually too late to change the terms – which is why it’s so crucial to have an individual divorce attorney before the divorce is finalized.
4. Keeps the Divorce Process “Clean”
Because of the nature of the divorce process, arguments tend to surface and it can be hard to negotiate when two people with highly opposing viewpoints and probably hurt feelings are put into a room together to advocate for themselves, by themselves. Sharing one attorney can’t do very much to solve this problem, because he or she can only do so much to calm both spouses down without looking like he or she is supporting one side more than the other. Having two attorneys keeps the divorce process clean, minimizing argumentation and keeping the process strictly about the terms of the divorce.