Going through a divorce can be a devastating and confusing experience. Just because your spouse hired a lawyer does not mean that you need to hire one. There are many people who choose to represent themselves, while others wonder if they can utilize the services of their soon-to-be ex-spouse’s lawyer. A divorce lawyer cannot legally represent both you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse. However, there are certain circumstances where a couple may share a single lawyer.
Sharing a Lawyer During Mediation
After a couple has settled issues, such as child custody and debt division, a divorce lawyer can be hired to draft up a joint divorce agreement. This usually takes place during mediation where a third party chosen by both spouses helps the two parties agree to terms. Mediators help parties fill out necessary paperwork, help identify sources of conflict, and help parties come up with agreements for those conflicts. They also help to maintain communication. Mediators do not give legal advice. If you need legal advice, you will then need to hire representation.
Who is Responsible for Paying Filing Fees?
The party who files for divorce is usually responsible for paying filing fees and other court costs. Parties who are served with divorce papers will not need to pay any divorce fees. However, if your spouse is filing a divorce on fault grounds, you may want to file a countersuit. Filing a divorce on fault grounds means that the filing spouse claims that the other spouse is responsible for the failed marriage. Filing a countersuit may mean paying filing fees.
When Should I Hire a Lawyer?
You should hire a lawyer if you and your spouse have children and are unable to come up with a custody agreement or if there are complex finances involved. Your lawyer will do the necessary research to get a picture of your spouse’s finances. You may also want to hire a divorce lawyer if you do not understand certain legal procedures or if you want a better understanding of your rights.
Choosing to Represent Yourself
If you choose to represent yourself while your spouse hires a lawyer, remember that your spouse’s attorney cannot give you legal advice. If you have any questions you may need to hire your own attorney.
South Jersey Divorce Lawyers at the Burnham Law Group, LLC Represent Clients Going Through a Divorce
Divorce can be overwhelming, but the right lawyer can make the process less stressful by answering any questions you may have. Contact a South Jersey divorce lawyer at the Burnham Law Group, LLC for a free consultation. Contact us online or call us at 856-751-5505 today. Located in New Jersey, we proudly serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Camden County, Burlington County, and Atlantic County.