Can my husband and I go together to a lawyer for an initial consultation to learn about the divorce process?

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Can my husband and I go together to a lawyer for an initial consultation to learn about the divorce process?

Asked on November 28, 2011 under Family Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Legally, you can do this--you'll likely have to sign some waiver or disclosure form, in which you indicate that you are aware of the hazards of joint representation (even if it's only for the initial consultation) and knowingly agree to it anyway, but apart from some disclosure requirements, you are allowed to consult the same attorney.

It is not recommended, however. Even if the divorce is amicable and something you agree upon, and even if you have a fairly simple situation to resolve (no children; you both work; not a lot of marital assets), it is still likely that you and your husband's interests are not identical. It would be better to each consult separately with your own lawyer, so you can get advice which focuses specifically on your own rights and interests. Remember: even with separate lawyers, it doesn't have to get adversarial unless you want or let it--you are in charge, and can instruct your lawyers to keep things quick, simple, and friendly.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Legally, you can do this--you'll likely have to sign some waiver or disclosure form, in which you indicate that you are aware of the hazards of joint representation (even if it's only for the initial consultation) and knowingly agree to it anyway, but apart from some disclosure requirements, you are allowed to consult the same attorney.

It is not recommended, however. Even if the divorce is amicable and something you agree upon, and even if you have a fairly simple situation to resolve (no children; you both work; not a lot of marital assets), it is still likely that you and your husband's interests are not identical. It would be better to each consult separately with your own lawyer, so you can get advice which focuses specifically on your own rights and interests. Remember: even with separate lawyers, it doesn't have to get adversarial unless you want or let it--you are in charge, and can instruct your lawyers to keep things quick, simple, and friendly.


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