If you and your spouse have reached a mutual agreement regarding divorce, you may wonder whether you can retain the same attorney to finalize your divorce. The short answer is no, as it is unethical for an attorney to represent both spouses in a pending divorce action.

Joint representation in a divorce creates a conflict of interest for the attorney. No matter how agreeable the terms are to each side, an attorney cannot ethically represent both parties in divorce due to the parties’ competing interests.

However, if the parties are amicable and have come to an agreement, it may make sense to proceed with only one spouse represented. One party can retain an attorney to represent that party and to draft the settlement documents. The other party then has the option of either proceeding without an attorney (“pro se”), hiring their own attorney, or simply consulting with another attorney to ensure the settlement documents are drafted appropriately.

Even if you believe that you and your spouse are in agreement on all issues, it is always best to consult with an attorney to ensure your interests are protected.

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements.