CONFLICT OF INTEREST IN FAMILY LAW – CAN YOU ACT FOR ME AND MY WIFE?
As an experienced family lawyer, I am often asked: ‘can you act for both me and my wife in our divorce?’
The short answer is: ‘no, I cannot act for both the husband and wife in a family law dispute.’
If I were to act for both the Husband and Wife in a family law dispute, there would be what is known as a ‘conflict of interest.’ This conflict of interest arises because most of the time, if I act in the best interests of one party (say, for example, the Husband), then I am acting to the detriment of the other party.
Family law is very sensitive about conflicts of interests. And there are many built in mechanisms to ensure that people going through separation or divorce are not taken advantage of. For example, if you do not receive independent advice from a qualified lawyer, then any binding financial agreement or consent orders may be found to be null and void. Further, there may even be a conflict of interest if your ex-husband or wife’s family lawyer is an old family friend and is privy to confidential information about you which may be used against you. Ultimately it depends upon the circumstances.
So, if your Husband or Wife says something like: ‘don’t worry, you don’t need to see a family lawyer – my lawyer can handle everything’ do not listen to them. It is time to call Testart Family Lawyers to set up an appointment for a free initial consultation. At Testart Family Lawyers, we will make sure that you are not taken advantage of.