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We would like to file for an uncontested divorce. Do we need 2 attorneys or just 1? How can we go by working out a plan?

Atlanta, GA |

We've been married for 10 yrs and have a 6-year old child. My husband has an affair and we decided to divorce. We are on friendly terms and would like to stay that way. We have two properties in two different states and most of our assets are in a trust fund with our child being the beneficiary. How do we best work out a divorce plan and what details are important?

Attorney Answers 5


  1. Ideally, 2 lawyers is the most ethical. However, if the divorce is truly uncontested in all respects, and both of you are able to work out everything, using a single attorney (with it being clear that they represent only one of the parties, and that the other party can seek independent legal advice at any time) may be fine, economical, and nonetheless remain ethical.

    For the property division as between yourself and your husband, I suggest just dividing up the property (real and personal) however the two of you see fit.

    For the parenting plan, I suggest taking a look at the following website (this is the Fulton Co. Superior Court's Family Law Division website that has sample forms for domestic cases):
    http://www.fultoncourt.org/sca200807/documents-and-forms/cat_view/52-family-court/53-packets/63-divorce-packet-6.html.

    The above website link should provide you with a sample parenting plan that you can take a look at and get ideas. There are generally standard terms re: holiday and regular parenting time, child support, etc., that are included in most divorce decrees involving minor children, so what you see on the Fulton website is not likely to differ much regardless of the county you initiate the divorce in.

    When it comes time to actually do the divorce and draft all the applicable documents, I strongly advise hiring at least one attorney, so everything is done according to law, and if either party needs legal advice or to clarify issues, that will be the person to ask. Good luck, considering the circumstances.


  2. With property and a child, I would advise that you should always consult with a family law attorney to assist you with a divorce, even if you believe the case will be "uncontested." Just because you are willing to agree to a particular resolution does not mean that resolution is fair and equitable. If you agree to a division of debts and assets that you later regret it will be difficult or impossible to change it once it is made the order of the court. In addition, many non-lawyers neglect to address important issues only to realize their mistake after the divorce is final. In such cases, if any relief is possible at all, the cost to seek redress will probably exceed the cost obtaining representation in the initial divorce action.

    This is especially true as it relates to your child. The biggest mistake that is made by divorcing parents who choose to represent themselves is to assume you will always agree on parenting time with the child. When the parties are getting along well prior to the divorce (which is a good thing, obviously), they often fail to work out a detailed parenting plan to address issues that will inevitably come up. Then a year or two after the divorce, one or both parties have moved on to other relationships and there will inevitably be a conflict. Without a through and thoughtful parenting plan, one side may realize that his or her rights are much more limited than he or she imagined, or the plan may be so vague that it can't resolve the dispute. At that point it would be much more difficult to reach an agreement about the "right" thing to do which often leads to costly litigation and unnecessary tension between the parents.


  3. Bear in mind that a lawyer can only represent one party. The party that is not represented should pay a second lawyer to review the paperwork.

    If you find this answer helpful, please mark it here on AVVO as helpful. In answering you, I am attempting to communicate general legal information and am not representing you. Do feel free to call me at 404-768-3509 if you wish to discuss actual representation (the phone call also does not retain counsel; that requires an office visit and appropriate paperwork). In that a forum such as this provides me with limited details and doesn't allow me to review details and documents, it is possible that answers here, while meant to be helpful, may in some cases not be complete or accurate, and I highly recommend that you retain legal counsel rather than rely on the answers here. (You can also email my office at geaatl@msn.com . An email also does not retain my office, but can help you get an appointment set if you prefer not to call). Any information in this communication is for discussion purposes only, and is not offered as legal advice. There is no right to rely on the information contained in this communication and no attorney-client relationship is formed. Nothing in my answer should be considered as tax-advice. To ensure compliance with IRS Circular 230, any U.S. federal tax advice provided in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by the recipient or any other taxpayer (i) for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on the recipient or any other taxpayer, or (ii) in promoting, marketing or recommending to another party a partnership or other entity, investment plan, arrangement or other transaction addressed herein. I am also required to advise you, if your question concerns bankruptcy, that the U.S. Congress has designated Ashman Law Office as a debt relief agency that can help people file bankruptcy.


  4. It is possible in many instances to have an uncontested divorce that does the job. An "uncontested divorce" means that ALL issue and documents necessary for the divorce to be properly finalized are signed and ready to go at the time the divorce action is filed with the court.

    In your situation, that is a bad idea. The property in two states and the "trust fund" issues you mention indicate that, without the advice of your own lawyer, (1) the paperwork will get messed up, and (2) you will not get things that you may be entitled to under the law.

    Also, since your spouse "cheated", there are options available to you that he does not want you to know about. Your own lawyer will give you the information to make an informed decision.

    Good luck.

    Thanks for reading my response to this question. If your found this answer "Helpful" or "The Best Answer" PLEASE MARK IT, because Avvo awards me points. Thank you! Note that the questioner and any reader do not have an attorney-client relationship formed by our communications on this website. Advice given by me on this website is general advice based on partial information. You should not rely on any advice given without first hiring a lawyer in the area where the case is pending, and providing that lawyer with full information.


  5. As previously mentioned, I would suggest each party having their own attorney even if only to review paper work. My firm has handled uncontested divorces in my practice and I was the only attorney but the parties had prior agreements and there were not any complicated issues such as the issues you present in your question. I would encourage you all to attempt to create an agreement to provide insight on whether or not the divorce is truly uncontested. Best of luck to you!
    www.alburyhawkins.com

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