Lawyer for Two?

“My spouse hired a lawyer for us“.

I often get on-the-sly calls from a suspicious spouse with that one too. On some level, the suspicious spouse knows he or she has good reason to be suspicious.

You see, one lawyer cannot represent both of the spouses in a divorce.

That would be a clear conflict of interest. Why? Because one lawyer can’t do his or her very best for the wife and also do his or her very best for the husband, at the same time, in the same case. Like it or not, sometimes what’s best for the husband just isn’t very good for the wife (and vice versa).

So what the spouse who hired a lawyer “for us” is really saying is:

“I hired a lawyer to represent me. But I don’t think you should have a lawyer to represent you.

Only the hiring spouse will never admit the truth. And the hiring spouse will never let the suspicious spouse near “their” lawyer.

Because “their lawyer” would be dutybound to explain to the suspicious spouse that the lawyer doesn’t represent the suspicious spouse at all, only the hiring spouse. The lawyer would probably even recommend that the suspicious spouse engage an attorney of his or her own too.

Of course, the hiring spouse doesn’t want that. The hiring spouse wants to maintain control over the divorce – and the suspicious spouse.