Ethics Committee opinion

The Ethics Committee has approved this opinion for publication as guidance for the profession as a whole.

Whether a lawyer can represent both spouses in a divorce action
(Ethics Committee: October, 2002)

In 1998 the Committee gave an opinion, which it reaffirmed in 2000, that lawyers should not act for both spouses in bringing a joint action for divorce. After reviewing these opinions, the Committee is now of the view that there are special circumstances in which the prohibition need not apply. A lawyer, including a lawyer who has acted as a mediator for the spouses, may act for both spouses in a joint action for divorce provided:

  • all relief sought is by consent, and
  • both parties have received independent legal advice in relation to the matter.