Do We Need Two Lawyers to Get a Divorce in Florida?
There is no requirement that you have a lawyer to get a divorce in Florida. The Florida Supreme Court has promulgated “do it yourself forms” to enable spouses, who cannot afford to hire an attorney, to get a divorce. However, given the difficulty in completing all of the necessary paperwork, most people conclude that it’s easier to hire one lawyer to draft all of the paperwork and navigate the legal waters to complete the divorce. The caveat in using one lawyer is that the lawyer can only represent one of the divorcing spouses. It is conflict of interest for one attorney to represent both parties in a divorce. The typical scenario is that one of the spouses hires the attorney to draft the marital settlement agreement and then the agreement is sent to the other party to review and confirm that their oral agreement is accurately reduced to writing. It’s always a good idea for the second party to take the agreement to his or her own attorney for consultation and review. Once the agreement is approved and signed, the first attorney simply does all of the necessary paperwork for the judge to sign off on the final judgment.
Given the complexity of Florida’s divorce laws and the importance of protecting your children, home, pension, business, assets and/or money, it is highly recommended that each divorcing spouse hire a qualified and experienced divorce attorney.
We have been assisting spouses and parents with divorce and family law matters in Volusia and Flagler Counties for over 25 years. Call or e-mail our experienced attorneys and staff if you have questions about any of the above information.