Agreed Divorce – How Does It Work?
So, sometimes people ask me about agreed divorce as if it was an oxymoron – like jumbo shrimp. Yes, there can be an agreed divorce. Here are a few facts to set the record straight.
Yes and no. Yes, an agreed divorce can be completed with only one lawyer. No, the lawyer doesn’t represent both people. She doesn’t sit down and discuss the divorce with both people and then work for them both. The lawyer can only ethically represent one person from the couple. The details and specifics are different for every case on how that works, but the important part stays the same. One lawyer = one client.
How Do You Get Agreement
There are many ways to reach agreement in divorce. Very straightforward agreements are often made between the parties themselves and then told to the lawyer or lawyers. Sometimes the parties need assistance on all or part of their issues. Lawyers can talk about options and exchange offers between them by phone, face to face conversation or email. And, settlement conference with the lawyers and the parties in one location can help to focus time and attention to specific questions and issues. Mediation with a neutral mediator can also be a great tool in cases with family law issues with attorney assisted mediation or the divorcing spouses mediating without attorneys. And, online mediation can be an option as well.
What about Court?
Going to court doesn’t always mean that there is going to be a contested hearing or trial. Yes, the judge in your case has to sign the Agreed Final Decree of Divorce in order for it to be final but that doesn’t mean everyone has to go to court and have a battle. Depending on the court and judge, the agreed decree can be submitted directly to the judge or submitted by one party to the judge for his or her signature on it. And, the Agreed Final Decree of Divorce can be submitted electronically through efiling.
One other benefit of divorces by agreed terms, is that in my office we offer flat fee (sometimes called fixed fee) options for agreed divorce.
Agreement in divorce isn’t unusual. It can happen. Call today to set up your consultation to talk about your agreed divorce questions with Jill O’Connell, Esq.
Jill O’Connell 972-203-6644