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A hypothetical couple decided to amicably end their marriage. They live in California and they do not have kids. They maintain their financial lives separately, do not own any shared property and have utmost clarity on their financial delineations.

They decided that "default with agreement" is the type of divorce that they would like to pursue.

Neither of them want to spend time filling out the forms and googling answers. They would rather have an attorney do this for them since they are both are very busy with their lives.

They learned that a single attorney cannot represent two parties in a divorce process in CA.

What are their options?

Summary:

  1. Amicable divorce
  2. No kids, no mortgages, one insignificant shared account
  3. Clearly delineated financial lives
  4. They do not qualify for Summary Divorce because of the value of the assets in their community property as defined by Law
  5. They are on the same page with the divorce agreement

How can they delegate handling the paperwork and the process to someone else? Does it even need to be an attorney?

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We learned that a single attorney cannot represent two parties in a divorce process in CA.

That is inaccurate. In Re Marriage of Deffner, 49 Cal.Rptr.3d 424, 430 (2006) is premised on a divorce case where one same lawyer, referred to as "Attorney V", represented both parties.

The Deffner court portrays the underlying matter as "masquerading" and as "fraud on the court". But altogether the opinion reflects that dual representation in a divorce case is lawful. The details of your matter might be conclusive enough to distinguish it from Deffner, and accordingly preclude an alleged finding of "masquerading".

By contrast, hiring separate lawyers puts you and your wife at risk that those lawyers will needlessly drag your case for as long as any of you two have any assets. This report denounces that unfortunately that practice is rather common in courts. Furthermore, each lawyer involved might persuade his/her respective & unsuspecting client that taking a "slightly" different approach would improve the client's position, and next thing you know is you are entangled in spiraling litigation of what once was an amicable decision.

Your preference to delegate the process is totally understandable. However, if you can't find a lawyer who is willing to represent both of you and readily deliver results, it will be in your best interest to do the research in order to do the process by yourselves.

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