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Tips on choosing the right family law attorney

In many cases, Colorado couples want to end their marriage in a manner that is collaborative and cooperative, and wish to avoid an excess of stress and drama as the process unfolds. That is an admirable approach, and one that can have many positive outcomes. That said, it is also important to make wise decisions during a divorce, and one of the most impactful decisions that any divorcing spouse will make involves selecting their family law attorney.

One of the biggest mistakes that people make when selecting their divorce attorney is to use the same attorney to handle both sides of the divorce. They do so in the belief that using one individual will simplify matters, or could possibly reduce the overall cost of the divorce. Often, spouses who want to have a collaborative divorce choose to work with a single attorney in the belief that this will reduce tension during the process. This approach fails to recognize the fact that no matter what the level of contention in a divorce, one's attorney is there to provide legal advice and to keep his or her client's interests at the forefront of the process.

There is an old saying that suggests that one individual cannot serve two masters well. That is applicable in many areas of life, and certainly in divorce law. An attorney cannot represent the interests of two clients who are dividing assets, addressing child custody matters or dealing with other aspects of divorce. He or she might be able to guide the process and advise clients on the repercussions of various options, but neither client is likely to receive the full benefit of the attorney's skill and knowledge of the law.

A better approach is for both spouses to hire their own legal representation, but to insist that the process moves forward in a collaborative manner. That allows both sides to receive family law advice that is in line with their individual goals, but still work toward a fair and equitable resolution of their marriage. For many Colorado spouses, that approach meets the shared goals of moving beyond the broken marriage with a solid financial base, while also being mindful that the other party is also entitled to the same outcome.

Source: CBS Boston, "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do: Understanding Divorce", Dee Lee, Aug. 15, 2016

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