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Can divorcing spouses use the same attorney?

On Behalf of | May 18, 2018 | Firm News

Many marriages come to an end in Massachusetts. When filing for divorce in the state, the spouses will first need to state what type of divorce they seek. From there, they will need to decide whether they want an uncontested or contested divorce.

Some divorces are more tumultuous than others, but there are a number of cases where the spouses still get along relatively well. They can act amicably toward each other, and both parties want to cut back the costs naturally associated with divorce. One way many people believe they can save money is if both spouses use the same lawyer. Before proceeding, you need to banish that thought from your mind, because both parties will need different lawyers.

Conflict of interest

The reason why the same attorney cannot represent both divorcing parties is due to the fact it is a conflict of interest. In a divorce, the state views the spouses as opposing parties. Therefore, a lawyer cannot represent both people’s interests equally.

This includes instances where both divorcing parties agree on how to divide all assets. You will still need separate attorneys because there is a good likelihood you do not actually agree on everything. There is always the option for both spouses to represent themselves in court, but most lawyers would not recommend this. Although it does cost money, you are better off in the long run with professional legal representation during this time.


If you want to try to resolve most issues outside of the courtroom, then you and your spouse can look into mediation. It involves meeting with a neutral facilitator who does not represent either side. This gives both people a chance to express themselves and state what they want out of the separation. Mediation only works if both parties actively want to be there. It is ideal for spouses who still get along reasonably well and can talk calmly to one another.