There’s that old saying: Too many cooks spoil the broth.
But when it comes to your divorce, having two attorneys is just right.
When couples prepare to divorce, a common question that comes up in Connecticut is this: “We’ve already worked everything out. Can’t we just share the same divorce attorney?”
There are a few reasons why people believe sharing a divorce attorney is a good idea:
- The couple believes both parties are acting in a fair and equitable manner.
- The same couple also believes that all assets, joint and separate, retirement accounts, and other mutually shared benefits, are accounted for—neither one would ever cheat the other.
- The divorcing couple believes using one attorney will save time and money.
- The couple believes hiring two divorce attorneys will spark fights, drag out the divorce proceedings, and leave a legacy of bitterness between the exes and family members. Their goal is to have an amicable divorce, not a drawn-out court battle.
- The couple has children, but they have already determined child support, child custody, and visitation issues by themselves. Why hire a second divorce attorney? It will only complicate matters.
- One party—usually the one initiating the divorce—insists that using one attorney is just fine.
- The couple signed a prenuptial agreement and they believe the terms are cut and dried, no need to hire one divorce attorney, let alone two.
Most of the time sharing a divorce attorney is a bad idea.
For starters, it’s going to be hard hiring just one attorney to represent both parties. A well-qualified, expert family law attorney will have ethical concerns. He or she will worry about a conflict of interest, the inability to appropriately represent both parties.
If your spouse insists that only one divorce attorney is needed and he (or she) has already chosen that individual, be wary. You might be told: “This will be more convenient. It will save legal fees.” In reality, the motive might be to hide assets or otherwise gain an unfair advantage over you during the divorce process. Protect yourself. Hire your own divorce attorney.
Sharing a divorce attorney is a bad idea because, inevitably, you’re going to fight. After all, there is a reason why you are getting divorced. No matter how hard you try, ending a marriage is a painful, emotional process. It’s hard to avoid the blame-shame game. It’s hard not to seek vengeance at some point. Let your two divorce attorneys negotiate, mediate, and prepare a settlement you both can live with.
If you signed a prenuptial agreement and are getting divorced in Connecticut, hiring a divorce attorney is vitally important.
A prenuptial agreement identifies who owns what, who gets what, should the marriage end in divorce. It does not cover child custody issues, child support, or visitation rights.
The longer your marriage lasts, the more complex divorce becomes, even with a prenuptial agreement. Over time, marital and separate property get mixed together, blurring the line between “yours and mine.” That, along with your rights to health insurance, retirement benefits, and spousal support, are all reasons why you should hire your own divorce attorney, not share one with your spouse.
Regardless of your prenuptial agreement, in the event of a divorce, you are entitled to an equitable settlement.
We at CT Mediation Center in Connecticut are experts at divorce negotiations and divorce settlements. We can help you with a traditional divorce (the kind that might go to court) or a mediated divorce (if you prefer a friendly, or amicable, divorce). Please give us a call to learn more about how we can help you.