Thanks for joining us again for this discussion on why a divorcing couple should each have their own attorney. As we talked about in the previous article, a married couple who is parting ways (even an amicable couple who agrees on everything) is like a train that is splitting onto two different tracks. They’re now like two trains, headed in different directions, and one attorney can’t drive them both.
When two people get divorced, they begin a process of dividing up their lives in preparation for their new futures. Their new futures aren’t going to be hand-in-hand anymore, they’re going to be entirely separate. And in order to make sure that their individual best interests are properly and fairly represented, they have to consider what’s best for themselves (which means putting their own needs ahead of their soon-to-be-ex spouse’s needs.)
So if we can’t use the same attorney, what can we do to save money?
There are several ways Oakland County couples have tried to get around the issue of having to hire two lawyers during a divorce – one for each spouse. Let’s start by understand that often times, having your own attorney will result in a net savings to you. Why? Because your attorney will ensure that you get your fair share. And often times, you won’t have an idea what your fair share really means under Michigan law. But moving on from there, each of the alternatives has major cons and very few pros. Here are a few examples:
Hiring an attorney for one spouse, with the other representing themselves:
Hiring only one attorney to represent one spouse, while the other spouse represents themselves (which is called pro se) is one solution to this dilemma. But it’s a terrible one! The spouse with the attorney is going to come out with a way better deal (because they had an unopposed and trained divorce attorney representing them) which is awful for the spouse with no attorney. Nothing would be worse than agreeing to hire one attorney and letting your spouse “have” them, and then discovering that the attorney created a divorce agreement that favored their spouse! Keep in mind that lawyers are required to advocate for, and counsel their clients.
Not hiring an attorney, and doing the divorce without any legal help:
This often looks appealing because it saves a lot of money up front, but while it isn’t illegal, it usually ends badly. What do we mean by that? Well, without good legal counsel, you might end up agreeing to terms that aren’t in your best interest. Many people don’t realize the long term impact of their choices, so they don’t see how today’s decisions could affect their lives in ten, twenty, or even forty years time. An experienced divorce lawyer will be able to look ahead, and see the whole picture. Don’t be penny wise and dollar foolish. That always costs more in the long run.
Are you considering divorce but aren’t sure what the next step is?
As family lawyers who’ve spent decades helping clients in Oakland County, Macomb County and Metro Detroit with their divorces, we understand how frustrating this process can all be. We also understand a couple’s desire to save money because divorce can be a costly process. There are lots of ways to save money during your divorce that won’t create problems down the road, or require unethical legal practices.
So if you or a loved one have decided to end your marriage, and you want legal help from experienced, compassionate and ethical divorce attorneys, call The Kronzek Firm at (248) 479-6200. We have spent decades helping the people of Oakland County and the surrounding areas with their family law concerns, and we can help you too.