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Can My Ex and I Use the Same Lawyer?

A divorcing couple meeting a lawyer

Divorces can get expensive.

In the interest of saving money, you may start thinking about whether you can share a lawyer with your ex – or if you can simply ask their lawyer for legal advice when you need it. If you and your partner simply have grown apart and there are no truly malicious feelings between the two of you, it might seem like a good way to reduce the cost.

Are there risks to this approach, or is this a good way to close off your marriage while managing the budget?

Conflict of Interest

The biggest concern has to do with a conflict of interest. Obviously, you and your partner are going to have a different interpretation of what a fair settlement looks like. A lawyer is hired to represent the interests of the person who hired them, and that would make it impossible for them to represent two people with competing interests.

Even if you and your ex are in complete agreement with what terms you want for the divorce, you are still technically on opposite sides of a lawsuit.

Asking Your Spouse’s Divorce Lawyer for Advice

If you are expecting a simple divorce, is it possible to just consult with your spouse’s lawyer from time to time?

Well, once again, your spouse will have a lawyer who has a duty to protect their own client. No matter how friendly or amicable the divorce is, there are going to be some differences of opinion. Your ex’s lawyer is not required to make sure that your interests and financial well-being are protected. For this reason, it is important to hire your own divorce lawyer.

There is, however, an approach where you and your ex can employ the services of a lawyer to help you work through your divorce…

Collaborative Family Law & Mediation

Collaborative Family Law is an approach to divorce where a separating couple agree to work together, with the help of collaborative family lawyers who oversee and partake in the writing of the agreement. The lawyers represent one party individually but have the responsibility of working together to ensure that both parties are treated fairly in the process.

A Legal Team Working on Your Behalf

The most important thing is that your interests are protected. In order to guarantee this, you will want to make sure that your legal team is an excellent fit and that they fully understand your situation and its challenges.

Many lawyers will readily give you the opportunity to discuss your case with them for no charge. For example, Epstein & Associates offers a free half-an-hour long initial consultation so you can get a good understanding of the firm and its lawyers.