Wednesday, January 8, 2014

My spouse says we should use the same attorney for the divorce. Is this a good idea?

Even amicable divorcing couples have differing interests. Consequently, lawyers’ ethical rules disallow them from representing both parties to a divorce. When parties negotiate their own agreement, it is not uncommon for one party to retain an attorney and for the other party not to do so. In such cases, the party with the attorney files the petition for dissolution, and prepares the marital settlement agreement. The party without the attorney should at least consult with a different lawyer to review the agreement on their behalf. Independent legal advice on matters such as the taxes, retirement, and health insurance issues helps clarify the implications of your agreement.

While it is appropriate to trust your spouse and his or her lawyer, know your rights before signing off on any agreement that will affect you for the rest of your life. A judge will not likely let you come back and change the agreement later based upon a lack of knowledge of your legal rights at the time of the divorce.

Insert taken from: Divorce in Illinois by Steven N. Peskind. Published by Addicus Books.