by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida
Times are tough and everyone is trying to save money. However, in divorce court, do not fall prey to the statement, “Honey, we can use one lawyer and save money.” Or worse, “Honey, I have a lawyer to do the work for both of us, you don’t need a divorce lawyer, as we agree on everything anyway.” Do not be penny wise and pound foolish.Do not fall prey to these tactics of control.
First of all, the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar do not permit one lawyer to represent the best interests of two parties that are potentially adversarial. It makes sense. But what about mediation, you ask. A mediator does not represent either party and must stay neutral. A mediator cannot represent the best interests of one party over another and give legal advice.
So back to the question…if your spouse has a divorce attorney and you do not, get one!
In divorce court, the party who has the need will get attorneys fees paid by the party who has the superior ability to pay. The purpose of this law is to put the parties on equal footing. In divorce court, both parties should have equal benefit of counsel.
So, for example, the doctor husband will pay not only his own attorney, but the attorney for his stay at home wife as well. Of course, he will try to convince the wife that she doesn’t need her own lawyer and direct her to think of the expense…the old guilt trip. Run, don’t walk, to the phone to secure counsel.
Only then can you be assured that your best interests are being represented in either settlement negotiations or litigation. For more information about this or other divorce topics, call one of the divorce lawyers at ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. at 561 835 9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at http://www.familylawwpb.com.