Like many big life events, divorces involve paperwork and cost money. If you and your spouse are having an amicable split and are looking for a way to save money and time, you might wonder if it’s possible for you both to use the same attorney for your Nashville divorce.
The short answer is, no. No, you cannot.
Here’s why. Whenever you hire an attorney, you’re hiring that attorney to work for you and only you. That divorce lawyer has a responsibility to represent your best interests alone. Professional ethics and rules prohibit attorneys from representing clients with conflicting interests – and divorcing spouses count as having conflicting interests.
If you and your spouse are cordial and agree on most of the details of your divorce, you may consider mediation first. With mediation, you and your spouse work with one professional, neutral mediator instead of working with two separate attorneys. Although there are mediators who are not attorneys, it is advisable for you to utilize a mediator who is an attorney if neither you nor your spouse are represented by an attorney. His or her job isn’t to take sides, but more to guide you and your spouse through the process of creating a mutually agreeable divorce agreement. A mediator can’t make a ruling in the way a judge can. Instead, the parties (you and your spouse) resolve their own case, with the mediator’s facilitation. Further, although they cannot give you legal advice since they serve as a third party neutral in their role as a mediator, attorney mediators are more familiar with the paperwork involved and with the process for getting your agreed divorce finalized and approved by the Court.
However, mediation is not required if you and your spouse can reach an agreement on your own. At that point, one of you can hire an attorney who will prepare the divorce paperwork according to your agreement, and you can both sign the documents even though only one of you is actually represented by that attorney. The attorney will just make it a point to be clear that his or her representation is only for the one party who hired them.
If you have any questions about the divorce process here in Nashville, the attorneys at Miller Upshaw Family Law, PLLC are here to talk. Our compassionate lawyers can help ensure your and your family’s best interests are protected. Please call 615.454.9899 or use our contact form to schedule a consultation at our Nashville office.