Serving Clients in Knox, Blount, Anderson, Loudon, Sevier & Roane Counties

Why Can't Attorneys Represent Both Sides In A Divorce?

My Spouse and I Agree on All Issues, Can You Represent Both of Us in a Divorce?

As family law attorneys, we are routinely asked if we can represent both parties in a divorce action. The potential client explains that the parties agree on all issues, and just need an attorney draft the paperwork. This may seem like a simple request, but our answer is always, “No, we cannot represent both parties to a divorce action.”

Conflict of Interest

The reason we cannot represent both parties in a divorce action is because of something called a conflict of interest. When a divorce is filed, the spouses become opposing parties and an attorney cannot advocate for both sides. There are times when parties can waive conflicts of interest, but we do not advise to do this in a divorce scenario.

What We Can and Cannot Do

If we consult with a client and the client provides information about the marriage, assets, and debts and even details about an agreement, that spouse becomes our client and then we cannot represent an opposing party to our client. This is why we will not meet with both parties a divorce for an initial consultation.

In representing our client, we can draft settlement documents for review by the opposing party. However, if the opposing party has questions, we cannot offer any legal advice and must be clear that we represent our client and our client only.

Pro Se

In Tennessee, you are not required to have an attorney to get a divorce. You can represent yourself and that is called “pro se.” If one party is represented by an attorney, the other party may choose to represent themselves. The attorney involved in case where the other party is pro se must be extremely careful in interactions with the pro se party to avoid any appearance of impropriety.

If you are contemplating a divorce and have terms that you and your spouse have agreed upon, please give us a call. If you decide to retain us, we can get the documents drafted for you and get your divorce started.

Call Held Law Firm 865-637-6550