It’s no secret that getting a fair shake in your divorce means finding an experienced legal advocate. If your spouse is inclined to play dirty, however, you may find yourself shut out from all of the best lawyers in your area.
The process is called “conflicting out” a spouse, and it’s surprisingly simple to accomplish.
How can your spouse prevent you from hiring an attorney they’ve never retained?
You’re aware, of course, that one attorney can’t advocate for two clients on opposing sides of a case. You may not be aware, however, that even having a consultation with one of those parties is enough to create either a real or apparent conflict of interest for the attorney that prevents them from working for the other party later.
This happens because there is always the possibility that the first party revealed private information during the consultation that could be used against them in their case. True or not, it’s a risk the legal system won’t take.
If your spouse takes the initiative to make consultations with the best attorneys in town, they may not even pay a dime to any of them (since consultations are often free) — and yet, you would be unable to hire any of those attorneys yourself. (If you’re a fan of the TV show The Sopranos, you may remember Tony Soprano did exactly this to his wife Carmela to keep her from divorcing him.)
How do you prevent your spouse from conflicting you out?
Essentially, you have to be smart and proactive about your situation. If you suspect that a divorce is on the horizon, don’t wait around to start looking for help. Reach out to an experienced advocate of your choice as soon as possible.