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Avoid sharing the same attorney as your spouse in a divorce

Divorce can be a financial burden no matter if you are middle income or if you are the CEO of a major company. It’s not uncommon for many upcoming divorcees in Georgia to develop tactics that aim to decrease the amount of money they will lose in the separation. One of these strategies is to hire the same lawyer to represent both of them in the divorce proceedings, which tends to happen if the divorce is uncontested.

Do not consider this option. Any attorney you would ask in Georgia to represent both of you in a divorce will turn your request down for the following reasons:

Conflict of interest

The State Bar of Georgia’s handbook states that attorneys cannot represent clients if their representation is affected by the lawyer’s duties to another client. If you were to have an attorney represent the both of you and realize that the asset division heavily benefits your spouse more than you, then your attorney could be guilty of legal malpractice and would have to face a separate lawsuit and potential disbarment.

Even if there is little argument between you and your spouse, you are still opposing parties in the court. It goes against the attorney’s ethics and could damage their career if they were to represent both of you at the same time.

There’s still room for contest

It can be difficult for high-asset divorces to be uncontested. Even if you think you have every part figured out, there is still something you could have overlooked or come to have major disagreements with your spouse on later. When you are determining the division of complex property or child custody, it is rarely straightforward.

It’s understandable if you want to get this over with quickly, as the Georgia court site states that agreement between both parties can minimize divorce proceedings to just a little over a month. However, the separation will financially impact you for a long time. If you want an uncontested divorce, you need to be absolutely certain that you are fine with what you and your spouse agree upon before heading to court. Getting the same attorney to represent both of you will not speed up the process and may bring up further disagreements you two will have on the proceedings.

What can you do instead?

Choosing to go through divorce mediation is nearly equivalent to assigning one attorney to represent you both, except the mediator is meant to be neutral between the two parties as they attempt to settle the divorce quicker and with less conflict with the court. If you are planning for an uncontested divorce, this could be a good option. However, if you still feel something may come up that the mediator cannot solve, then you would be wasting your time and money before you head into the courtroom.

There is also the option where one spouse in an uncontested divorce has an attorney while the other one does not. However, the spouse with the lawyer can have a massive advantage as they have someone to give them legal advice in the proceedings. You already have a lot to worry about during a high-asset divorce, so you may need an divorce attorney’s assistance in organizing your case and ensuring that you will begin the next phase of your life financially well.

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Hecht Family Law
12600 Deerfield Pkwy
Suite 125
Alpharetta, GA 30004

Phone: 678-926-9234
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