Can you use the same solicitor for a divorce in England?
Yes, a separating couple can use the same divorce lawyer. This is often called “one couple one lawyer”. At Hunters we call this process “Resolve”. A divorce lawyer can’t represent both parties if their interests are in conflict. However, a couple can use the same divorce solicitor if their interests don’t conflict because they both want to agree a fair settlement without going to court.
When can one divorce lawyer act for both parties?
A couple can only have a joint lawyer where they both agree to this and where the lawyer is satisfied that it is in both of their interests to work in this way. For example, Resolve will not be suitable where there has been any form of domestic abuse or where there is a significant power imbalance.
When should a couple use the same firm for their divorce?
Resolve is suitable for separating couples whose joint aim is to work together to reach an outcome which meets both of their needs, and if they are parents, the needs of their children. Resolve can succeed where both parties are emotionally able and willing to work together, and are prepared to be open and transparent, sharing all relevant information.
What advice can a joint lawyer give on divorce?
A joint lawyer can advise on the divorce process, on reaching a financial settlement, and on arrangements for children. The advice will take into account the interests of the family as a whole, and set out how the applies in your circumstances and the range of possible outcomes. The lawyer will then facilitate discussions to assist the parties in reaching a fair agreement. You can read more about the Resolve process here.
Can a single lawyer submit our divorce paperwork?
Yes. Since April 2022 it has been possible to make a joint application for divorce. When working through Resolve we can advise both parties on the law and give advice on how to complete the forms, or manage the paperwork for you. If a financial agreement is reached, the lawyer will draw it up into a formal court order, and submit it to the court on behalf of the parties.
What are the benefits of having one divorce lawyer represent both sides?
Resolve is cost effective as the parties only pay for one legal team rather than two. It is also likely to be quicker than using court proceedings. Resolve is a respectful and dignified process, and assists the couple in developing constructive communication skills and a productive post-separation relationship, which can be especially useful where they will need to co-parent. You can read more about how Resolve helps to achieve an amicable separation here.