In some cases, marriages fall apart under acrimonious circumstances, making it challenging for couples to be in the same room together, let alone come to an agreement about how to proceed with the separation. If you find yourself in this type of a situation, it may be very obvious that each spouse should seek their own counsel so that you can both get separate legal advice and representation. If your separation is amicable however, you may be wondering if you and your spouse can use the same lawyer. Unfortunately, this is not advisable, even if you and your spouse agree on the terms of your separation unless you participate in mediation with a trained lawyer-mediator.
Why You Need Your Own Lawyer When Separating from Your Spouse
The only exception to this rule is if you and your spouse decide to participate in mediation, whereby a neutral third-party, such as a lawyer mediator, meets with both spouses and provides legal information to help resolve the various matters that arise from the separation.
Here are a few reasons why it’s important for separating spouses to retain their own lawyers:
Lawyers are duty bound – meaning it is their job to offer you advice and options that work in your best interests and your interests only. Thus, it would be impossible for a lawyer to represent two people with competing interests. It is a lawyer’s responsibility to help you make decisions in private and free from any outside influence.
Potential conflict may arise during divorce proceedings, especially if one party later refuses to adhere to what has originally been agreed upon. A lawyer therefore, would not be able to adequately protect the best interests of both parties.
Find Trusted Family Law Services at Simard and Associates
Regardless of the relationship you have with your spouse, lawyers have an ethical obligation to do what is best for their own clients. A good and experienced family law lawyer will have a thorough understanding of your rights throughout the process and ensure they remain protected. At Simard and Associates, our lawyers can provide expert, practical and tailored advice for individuals going through a separation and divorce. We are extremely knowledgeable in all areas of Ontario Family Law and offer many services that reflect this such as mediation and legal representation.