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Unwaivable Conflict of Interest

Posted by Daniel Norland | Dec 29, 2017 | 0 Comments

Can One Attorney Represent Both Parties In A Divorce?

A question I frequently get from those who call my office for a free consultation is whether or not each party to a divorce needs their own attorney. Many times a married couple have grown apart, and they mutually agree to a divorce with the intent of keeping things as low-conflict as possible. Sometimes, they have already discussed the financial and child custody and placement issues and agree on what should be done, they simply want to make sure it is done correctly, hence the call to my office. In these situations the parties sometimes want an attorney to simply act as a scrivener to write down the agreements they have already reached on their own. 

My opinion on this issue is that there is an inherent conflict of interest in representing both sides to a divorce. It does not matter that the two parties may not be at each others throats in a high conflict way. The fact of the matter is, it is impossible to represent the best interests of two people who are against each other in a legal action. I know there are some attorneys who disagree with this point of view, but to me it creates an inherent and unwaivable conflict of interest. I, personally, will not represent two parties in a divorce action, although I am sure that there are attorneys who will. 

For an interesting discussion on this exact issue, click here.

About the Author

Daniel Norland

I received my Bachelor's Degree from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse in December 2006. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison Law School in 2010 and chose to move back to the Coulee Region to begin my legal career. I decided to open my own law practice and have never regre...


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