Acting for both husband and wife in divorce proceedings

Can you act for both of us? This is a question I am being asked more often, since the divorce law changed in April.

The present answer is no. But there are proposals to change this prohibition in the next few months.

The present rule exists because there is the possibility of a “conflict of interest” between a divorcing couple.

Even if they are agreed on who gets what, one of them may be getting much less than a court would probably award.

The “loser” must be advised of this. It is the duty of a solicitor.

But sometimes the couple will have looked carefully into all the options and both will have decided a particular agreement is what they want, even if it is “less” for one of them. They may have reached the agreement through mediation. In that scenario, perhaps one solicitor can act for both of them.

This is what is now being considered – a relaxation of the prohibition in some divorce cases.

Watch this space!