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The Value of a Family Law Attorney

 Posted on July 05, 2013 in Divorce

Even though divorces are not easy, couples have to make sure certain things are in place before filing for divorce. One of the most important decisions is whether to seek legal counsel. The answer is nearly always ‘Yes'. Among its many benefits, a family law attorney can remove emotion from the decision-making process, giving clients the ability to see the benefits of a particular course of action that would otherwise be lost in an emotionally charged situation. Yes, there are costs associated with having an attorney, and couples seeking a divorce must be aware that in Illinois one attorney cannot represent both couples. The Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct, which govern attorney practice, prohibit attorneys from representing two clients when there is a potential for a concurrent conflict of competing interests, which is common in divorces. It is not hard to imagine a situation where an attorney faces two potential outcomes, each favoring one spouse or the other, making it impossible for an attorney to act in the best interest of both parties. At times, couples try to avoid hiring two attorneys by having only one spouse hire one. The client then tells the attorney to draft the divorce documents that benefits both spouses equally. Even though this approach may work in uncontested divorces, it is easier said than done. Attorneys are trained advocates. They aggressively pursue what they see as the best outcome for their client, which makes it harder to be neutral in a setting riddled with competing interests. More often than not, even in uncontested divorces, the party with one attorney will likely be worse off than the party who has legal representation. Filing for divorce involves costs, including legal fees. However, the presence of an experienced Illinois family law attorney may avoid expensive legal headaches down the road and will ensure that you receive the best possible outcome in a divorce.

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