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Can a Couple Use the Same Lawyer for a Divorce in Arizona?

Can a Couple Use the Same Lawyer for a Divorce in Arizona?

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Arizona divorce attorneys are often asked if they can represent both spouses in a divorce. While it may seem like a cost-effective option for couples without children and who anticipate a friendly separation, it’s not a viable option. Ethically, attorneys are prohibited from representing both parties in a divorce, even if there’s a waiver of any conflict of interest. Moreover, it’s in your best interest to have your own attorney to protect your rights and interests during the divorce process. So, it’s always recommended to hire a dedicated divorce attorney who can guide you through the legal complexities and ensure that your rights are fully represented.

Your Arizona Divorce Lawyer Must Avoid a Conflict of Interest

When attorneys go to law school, one of the most important things they learn about is ethics. All Arizona divorce lawyers understand that they can’t do anything that gives the appearance of impropriety. Therefore, they are careful before they accept any new case. They need to make sure they don’t have any relationships with either party that would it unethical to take the case. Allowing the same attorney to handle a divorce two both a husband and wife would be dangerous. How could one ensure that the attorney was doing right by both of their clients? It’s impossible to always work vigilantly on behalf of your client if you also represent the client’s adversary.

What if Your Spouse Can’t Afford an Attorney?

A common concern raised by parties involved in divorce cases is the issue of unequal access to legal representation. In many instances, one spouse may have control over the finances, leaving the other spouse unable to afford an Arizona divorce lawyer. This predicament places the disadvantaged spouse at a significant disadvantage in the legal process.

While the solution seems straightforward – allowing the financially challenged spouse to hire an attorney and requesting the court to order their spouse to pay their legal fees – there’s a catch. Attorneys require a retainer to take on a case, and there’s no guarantee that a judge will grant the request for legal fees. If the court denies the motion, the attorney may not be able to withdraw from the case, making it a risky proposition for lawyers.

As a result, most Arizona divorce lawyers decline to represent clients in such scenarios to avoid the risk of a denied request for legal fees. Although this outcome may seem unfair, allowing a single attorney to represent both parties is not a viable solution. Therefore, it’s crucial to seek individual legal representation to ensure that your rights and interests are fully represented in the divorce process.

Can a Client Simply Waive the Conflict of Interest?

As mentioned above, a lot of clients think that their spouse can just waive any conflict of interest. There are situations I which two parties can sign off on having one lawyer represent them. But that doesn’t work when it comes to divorce. Even if they could do this, they would still have to bill both parties. Attorneys cannot afford to work for free. They don’t have the hope of a big settlement down the road. 

Call and Speak with an Arizona Divorce Lawyer as Soon as Possible

If you’re thinking about filing for divorce, you should talk to one of our experienced Arizona divorce lawyers. They have dealt with situations like this before. They’ll know just what to do and can answer any questions you may have. They cannot represent both you and your spouse, but they may be able to give your spouse a good referral. Just call our office and get you situated first and take things from there.

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