I have been a divorce and family law attorney in Oklahoma for nearly a quarter of a century. Every day I get calls from people with all sorts of Oklahoma divorce and family law questions. One scenario I hear often involves both parties in a divorce matter visiting an attorney (or even worse, a paralegal) who promises to help them do a quick and cheap divorce. I will explain why you should avoid such schemes.
Although I have framed this in the context of a divorce case, everything I write here will equally apply to any other proceedings such as paternity, custody, visitation, and child support cases. So, before you and your opposing party decide to meet with an attorney together, you must first understand how this works.
If there is an attorney involved, that attorney represents one person or the other. There is simply no way around this fact. The attorney is either his attorney or her attorney. There is no such thing as “our” attorney in an adversarial proceeding.
If you and your spouse meet with an attorney and you are unsure which one of you the attorney is representing, that means you are not the client. So, why is this an issue if you agree on everything? Because that attorney is not trying to protect your legal interest or ensure you get a fair deal. That attorney cannot answer your legal questions or give you legal advice. Instead, that attorney is ethically obligated to represent their client’s best interest. So, if you are not the client, this means the attorney is looking out for the other party, not you.
Here is the bottom line: There is no legitimate way for one attorney to give legal advice to or represent both the Petitioner and the Respondent in a divorce case. You need to hire your own divorce lawyer in Oklahoma, even in straightforward uncontested matters. Don’t give in to the temptation to cut corners.
About the author: Pete D. Louden is a family law attorney in Norman, Oklahoma with over two decades of experience representing men and fathers in divorce, child custody, and child support matters.
Copyright 2021 Pete D. Louden All Rights Reserved