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Kardos, Rickles & Hand Bucks County Divorce Attorney
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Shared Counsel vs. Individual Representation When Ending a Marriage


There are many decisions to be made when dissolving a marriage, and a key consideration is whether the couple should share the same attorney or if each person should hire their own legal representation. Sometimes joint representation can be amicable and cost-effective, but there are also other compelling reasons why having separate lawyers might be in the best interests of both parties.

Before making a final determination regarding shared counsel or individual representation, divorcing couples in Pennsylvania and New Jersey should carefully evaluate their circumstances, considering factors such as financial complexity, child custody issues, and the level of cooperation between spouses. If you have questions about the most appropriate legal strategy for your specific case, have a conversation with a Bucks County family attorney.

Complex Disputes and Uncontested Divorces

In amicable divorces where both parties are in agreement on major issues, sharing the same attorney may be a feasible option. This is true in some uncontested divorces, where couples have reached a consensus on most, if not all, aspects of the separation. In such scenarios, a single attorney can facilitate a smoother process, as there is little need for negotiations.

Additionally, shared counsel may foster an atmosphere of cooperation and open communication between divorcing spouses which can be particularly beneficial when addressing sensitive matters, as the focus can be on finding mutually agreeable solutions rather than engaging in protracted legal disputes.

But of course, there are plenty of couples who are not able to communicate effectively when ending a marriage. In these situations, hiring separate attorneys is not only advisable but essential. Complex financial portfolios, significant assets, and intricate legal issues, all benefit from having individual legal representation ensures that each spouse’s interests are thoroughly protected. When you hire your own attorney, they can provide personalized advice tailored to your unique circumstances, ensuring that no stone is left unturned in pursuing a fair and equitable resolution.

Power Imbalances May Require Individual Counsel

It is also important to note that if there is a significant power difference, shared counsel is not appropriate. This can occur when one spouse has a higher level of financial acumen, legal knowledge, or emotional control. Individual representation levels the playing field.

And in cases involving contested child custody disputes, individual attorneys can advocate for their clients’ parental rights and ensure that the best interests of the children are prioritized. Separate representation allows for a more thorough examination of each parent’s ability to provide a stable and supportive environment for the children.

While shared counsel can be effective, individual representation is often advised when navigating divorce complexities. Whether your situation is characterized by cooperation or you believe the divorce negotiation process will be adversarial, a Bucks County family attorney can help.

Is it time for you to hire your own attorney? The decision to share an attorney or hire separate legal representation in a Pennsylvania or New Jersey divorce should be based on the unique dynamics of your situation. Share your long-term objectives with the legal team at Kardos, Rickles & Hand. Call 215-968-6602 to schedule your consultation today.

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