Should I Use the Same Lawyer as My Partner?

Young couple visiting divorce lawyer in office

Posted by heritagelaw on Feb 16, 2023 in Blog, Divorce Law, Family Law, Wills & Estate

Sometimes couples want to hire the same lawyer for an amicable divorce or for drafting their wills.

But is this a good idea?

Perhaps hiring the same lawyer can save time and money, but in many family law situations, one lawyer cannot fairly represent both partners due to conflicts of interest.

At Heritage Law, our lawyers have a responsibility to pursue our client’s best interests and an ethical duty to avoid conflicts of interest.

There are situations where sharing a lawyer is helpful and others where it is not.

Let’s take a look at when you should and shouldn’t use the same lawyer as your partner:

When It’s Helpful to Share a Lawyer

When it comes to working with an estate planning lawyer in Edmonton, there are benefits to sharing the same lawyer.

Here are some situations when it’s helpful to share a wills lawyer:

Your Estates are Relatively Simple

It can be helpful to share an estate planning lawyer in Edmonton if there are no sophisticated tax planning, previous marriages, and property located in separate areas.

Joint representation can save you time and money when it comes to planning your estate, as long as you and your partner are comfortable with full disclosure and having information shared.

If your estates are complicated or you are not comfortable fully disclosing information to your partner, then it is best to hire separate lawyers.

You Want to Create a Mirror Will

Mirror wills are separate wills made by partners that include reciprocal terms.

For example, you may want to leave everything to your partner, and your partner wants to leave everything to you.

Everything else, such as executors and other beneficiaries, match.

You can change a mirror will at any time, with or without your partner knowing, in case you separate or your partner passes away.

Mirror wills are not like mutual wills. They allow you to make personal bequests in your own will.

When It’s Harmful to Share a Lawyer

Annoyed unhappy married couple arguing in lawyers office

When it comes to family matters, sharing a family lawyer in Edmonton is not a good idea.

Lawyers cannot properly represent both clients when their interests are in conflict with each other.

In the cases of divorce and child custody, it’s likely that both parties want different outcomes.


Divorce is an expensive process, but you shouldn’t share a lawyer with your partner to cut down on costs – even if your divorce is amicable and conflict-free.

If a conflict does arise, a divorce lawyer cannot adequately protect both partners’ interests. 

For example, if one partner wants more child support, the lawyer is obligated to get as much support as possible. However, they are also obligated to prevent the other partner from paying more support than is required.

In many cases, a divorce lawyer in Edmonton will refuse to represent both parties. When one lawyer represents both partners, it often ends up becoming unfair to one partner.

Child Custody

The same principles apply when it comes to child custody cases, especially when it comes to creating or changing a child support order.

In many provinces, you are not allowed to use the same lawyer in this situation.

Otherwise, it’s not a good idea to share a lawyer when it comes to custody and parenting time.

Because these cases focus on the best interest of the child, each party needs a lawyer to negotiate terms that are acceptable to both parents.

However, if the parents want to approach the child custody case in a non-confrontational way, they can seek lawyers who practice collaborative law.

What Is a Conflict of Interest?

A conflict of interest is a situation where a lawyer cannot act in the best interest of their client. This can happen if a lawyer has a duty to another client.

Lawyers cannot represent clients with competing interests, which is why sharing a family lawyer in Edmonton is not likely to happen.

However, sharing an estate planning lawyer in Edmonton is possible because both clients have the same interests when it comes to planning their estate.

What Does a Mediator in Alberta Do?

A mediator is a neutral third party that helps people find mutual resolutions in a conflict or dispute.

Alberta offers a free mediation program for those going through a separation, divorce, or child custody case.

A mediator does not make decisions or give legal advice. They provide an informal and confidential space to help individuals reach an agreement.

They will provide you with a copy of the agreement, but this is not legally binding. It’s up to both partners to follow what is agreed upon.

When it comes to child custody and parenting time, this can certainly save both parents the time and money it would take to have the process done in court.

For couples who are separating and divorcing, it’s a great way to reach an agreement so that less time is spent with lawyers to finalize the divorce.

South Edmonton Lawyers – Here For You!

Heritage Law is dedicated to providing quality legal representation while keeping your best interests in mind.

If you’re not sure about sharing a lawyer for your affairs, feel free to contact our team for more information.

We are here to help you through the process and ensure that the best decisions are made for you and your family.

Let’s talk today.