Why do we have separate lawyers?

Asked almost 3 years ago - Tacoma, WA

we are in the middle of a fight to get our children back from CPS and my husband and I were made to get separate lawyers, they said its because if we split up this way there wont be any conflict of interest, but we then found out we should only have separate lawyers if we live apart or if we are separated already ! How ever we do not plan on separating at all. So why are they still making us have separate lawyers? Also when we try to contact our Lawyers no one will call us back. Our court date is soon, So what should we do? We document every phone call we make and every message we leave. Any Advice is helpful !

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Frances Turean

    Contributor Level 16


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . It may be that you have two lawyers so that you can each have your own interests protected. One attorney cannot necessarily do that for two people. Have you tried going to their office? Asking to speak to their assistant? Emailing them?

  2. Edward J. Dyer

    Contributor Level 13

    Answered . Completely agree with the answer above. Just adding - if your attorney is aware of the time deadlines, it is likely that they are busting butt on your case instead of answering your phone call.

    This does not alleviate your stress, I know. But, if you have pointed out to the attorney the time constraint, I would still pursue getting in contact with them, but perhaps with less stress.

    CPS cases run the gambit from horrific situations that the children are enduring, to cases that should not be investigated if everyone knew all the facts. The CPS folks don't know what they are dealing with until the process is over.

    The smart advice is always for each person to get their own lawyer.

    Let's forget the whole marriage thing, lets say that one of you is going to face criminal charges of some kind due to the CPS investigation. In that situation you could see that even happily married individuals would have different interests (probably) under those circumstances. I have no reason to think they are planning to charge you or your husband with a crime, I just use that example because it is very clear.

    One other thing, if your lawyer has signed and you have a copy of a Representation Fee Agreement (or worded in any way, just the agreement that you hire him/her) I would think it VERY unlikely that they are simply dodging your call. Once this agreement happens, lawyers have significant obligation to their clients.

    Hope this helped.

  3. Bruce Clement

    Contributor Level 19

    Answered . Separate attorneys are always required in a divorce because of the possibility of a conflict of interest. If only one attorney can be afforded, one of you could drop their current attorney (but I don't recommend this). An alternative to attorneys would be for the two of you to go to mediation without attorneys and try to resolve your issues that way (it's a lot less expensive). I recommend the Pierce County Center for Dispute Resolution for most mediations. If the attorneys don't respond to calls, one or both of you can, of course, get a new attorney. You can ask another attorney to schedule a free consultation to discuss this situation.

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