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What to Expect if Your Spouse Doesn’t Hire a Divorce Attorney

Tolison & Williams | 11 October, 2017 | Divorce

Spouse doesn't have an AttorneyNot many people other than divorce attorneys understand divorce procedures and legal rights. So, you have hired a divorce attorney to represent you, and you have filed. 

Now, your spouse states that they have decided not to hire an attorney. Maybe they don’t want to spend the money and considers that the two of you have pretty much agreed on everything. That may be not a good decision. 

Why Your Spouse Needs an Attorney

The divorce may be simple and uncontested. And it may all go smoothly. But it also may not. 

  • There may be details that neither of you has considered, and now your attorney must communicate with your spouse, not a professional peer, in an attempt to iron out these edges.
  • If there are those pesky details, your attorney cannot provide any assistance or explanation to your spouse. Your attorney represents you and you only. Your spouse will now have to figure out any communication and paperwork on their own. This can be a cause for further disagreements, and the simple, uncontested divorce suddenly becomes more complicated.
  • If your spouse has to take time to study and figure out the meaning of legal documents being presented, filing deadlines can be missed, and delays mean more time. 

Can You Share Your Attorney with Your Spouse?

Simple answer: no. 

Some couples think they can because they have a separation agreement in anticipation of the divorce. And the divorce process in Colorado does provide for legal consideration by the court of this agreement unless a judge finds it “unconscionable.” No matter what you have in the agreement about custody and child support, that part of the separation agreement will not be automatically approved by a Colorado court. 

If a court finds any part of a separation agreement “unconscionable” or if there are children involved, then you two don’t really have an agreement. You have hired the attorney, and your attorney will only advise you and represent only your interests. 

Your spouse is on their own. You and your spouse cannot share an attorney. Trying to do so can result into additional complications that can delay finalization, and thats something you don’t want.

Here Are the Problems When A Spouse Doesn’t Have an Attorney

When your spouse does not hire an attorney, you may face the following complications:

  1. The proceedings will take longer. Your spouse will have to spend time trying to understand legal documents and may not file responses on time. This impacts you directly.
  2. Your spouse may make mistakes in filings/responses. These have to be fixed, and your attorney cannot help with this. Again, delays.
  3. Court appearances become messy. Your attorney and you are prepared. Your spouse is not. Their responses and statements may not be clear.

If you need help convincing your spouse to get an attorney, feel free to contact our Brighton Family Law сompany. 

One of our professionals can help you and your spouse understand the importance of each of you having your own legal representation to provide guidance on divorce proceedings.