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Old 04.04.2021, 11:33
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Divorce: Same lawyer for both spouses?

Hello All,

Hoping for some advice as I can not find anything on this subject.

My husband and I will divorce in Switzerland after 10 years of marriage and 2 kids.

He is suggesting that we use the same lawyer to "save costs". I am afraid that my interests will not be a priority in this situation. Although I want to keep the situation amicable, I still want to protect myself.

I have taken time away from the workforce to care for the children, so currently I am in the weaker position of not having an income, and my earning potential has been lowered because of this career break. He also always earned more than me throughout our marriage.

I would be grateful for any advice, thanks in advance!!
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Old 04.04.2021, 11:53
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Re: Divorce: Same lawyer for both spouses?

I got divorced in the UK ~30 years ago using a single solicitor to just handle the legal aspects, and it worked out perfectly well. In no way was the lawyer involved in advising on any aspects of our financial agreements, and we remained friends for a lng while afterwards.

But if you have to ask the question about "protecting your interests" then it implies you are not completely on the same page about everything, so you should probably not go down this route. I'd expect any lawyer to make absolutely certain that you were both happy with the situation before agreeing to work in that way. And of course it shoud not be a lawyer of your husband's sole choosing.

(No idea about how practical it is in CH, but I don't think that's the question you're asking).
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Old 04.04.2021, 12:00
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Re: Divorce: Same lawyer for both spouses?

Quote:
I got divorced in the UK ~30 years ago using a single solicitor to just handle the legal aspects, and it worked out perfectly well. In no way was the lawyer involved in advising on any aspects of our financial agreements, and we remained friends for a lng while afterwards.

But if you have to ask the question about "protecting your interests" then it implies you are not completely on the same page about everything, so you should probably not go down this route. I'd expect any lawyer to make absolutely certain that you were both happy with the situation before agreeing to work in that way. And of course it shoud not be a lawyer of your husband's sole choosing.

(No idea about how practical it is in CH, but I don't think that's the question you're asking).
There are many ways of going about this:
- mediation without a lawyer (cheapest)
- hire the same lawyer (expensive)
-hire different lawyers (most expensive)

Here's some more info: https://www.ch.ch/en/divorce/
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Old 04.04.2021, 12:01
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Re: Divorce: Same lawyer for both spouses?

I have a friend who had this exact situation and the lawyer ended up siding with her husband and she got quite shafted.


If you simply cannot have separate lawyers, then at least, have a lawyer of your choosing, as suggested.
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Old 04.04.2021, 12:07
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Re: Divorce: Same lawyer for both spouses?

Thank you for your reply.

I suppose I don't want to be naive about divorce. I do not know anyone directly who has gone through the process.
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Old 04.04.2021, 12:34
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Re: Divorce: Same lawyer for both spouses?

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Thank you for your reply.

I suppose I don't want to be naive about divorce. I do not know anyone directly who has gone through the process.
You need to understand what your are entitled to, in most cases it's half of what has been acquired during marriage including pensions but excluding any inheritance. What you had before marriage you keep.

He will have to contribute to support the children, but likely you will have to support yourself, unless the kids are very young.
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Old 04.04.2021, 12:59
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Re: Divorce: Same lawyer for both spouses?

I’m going through the same process at the moment. Since we agree about everything, we’ll share the same lawyer. We have kids, but we have a pretty straight forward situation otherwise: both working, no property, etc.
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Old 04.04.2021, 13:21
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Re: Divorce: Same lawyer for both spouses?

I am sorry to hear about your pending divorce, it is never an easy solution even when most amicable.

I would not recommend it unless you are fully amicable and fully in agreement with the asset division/finances/child maintenance all agreed on along the same lines. The joinit lawyer would help you draft the agreement that is endorsed by the Court and becomes a valid court order. In the UK, you would never go to the same lawyer, as your own lawyer would advise you of various options and you could then see where you stand and what you want to accept or not. You are entitled to half of your husband's pension, he has to support you and the children, joint assets to be shared etc ...

Personally, no matter how amicable, I would still spend an hour with a lawyer to understand my position and then have a better idea what I can get vs what I actually want or dont want - which puts you in a better negotiating place.

Hope it works out for the best for you.
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Old 04.04.2021, 13:36
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Re: Divorce: Same lawyer for both spouses?

In Switzerland you don't need a lawyer to get divorced.

But if you do, you don't use the same one, if you know what I mean.
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Old 04.04.2021, 19:21
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Re: Divorce: Same lawyer for both spouses?

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He will have to contribute to support the children, but likely you will have to support yourself, unless the kids are very young.
I wonder whenever you imply that "she"would raise the kids which is not obvious in CH by any means I'd say.

I'd recommend to settle that part first as rest likely be just down to making both happy with $$$ they get .
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Old 04.04.2021, 19:26
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Re: Divorce: Same lawyer for both spouses?

I'm sorry you're going through this.

My advice is as follows:
  1. Do not just go ahead with what your husband says. You owe it to yourself to find out whatever you need to know. So well done for posting here, as one piece of becoming informed. Remember, however, that your husband or others you may know may read, here, too. This is a fully public forum. Making it your business to be properly aware of the facts does not mean you and your husband will need to have a war, but knowing how it all works, and understanding your and his rights, and those of the children, both about money, and about contact to the children, and where you live, will provide a better basis to work towards a more peaceful solution, and also for living, afterwards, knowing that you tried to do the right thing.

  2. Read the link olygirl posted, above. That's a good website, owned by the Swiss government www.ch.ch, providing the outline of all sorts of administrative issues in Switzerland.

  3. Make sure you understand the situation(s) of nationality and permit of yourself, your husband and each of the children. Find out what you would need to do to upgrade your own and those of your children, to the next level of stability.

  4. Go to see at least 2 separate, independent, advice centres. One could be the women's advice centre in Lausanne, https://bif-vd.ch//services.html. If you and your husband do not share the same nationality, you may also get advice from www.binational.ch (by reading their website, possibly in consultation). In all cases, please check, first, whether they charge a fee. You can also ask at your municipality office, at the court, or at the legal department of the university, for a list of free (quick) legal advice centres. I hope others from your side of the country will recommend some such advice centres. For these, and also for when you see a "real" lawyer, i.e. paid and dedicated to your interests, you will keep the costs down if you have your documents in order, and have written up the chronology and details of each person.

  5. Collect all your documents. https://www.englishforum.ch/housing-...t-anymore.html is another thread where I list documents which may be relevant, and ways to keep the lawyer's fees low. That thread has some good advice for that person by several posters, and I hope you will be able to see which parts of the thread are useful to you, and which not.
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Old 04.04.2021, 19:27
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Re: Divorce: Same lawyer for both spouses?

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I wonder whenever you imply that "she"would raise the kids which is not obvious in CH by any means I'd say.
Probably the part where the OP says
Quote:
I have taken time away from the workforce to care for the children
was a bit of a clue.
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Old 04.04.2021, 19:46
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Re: Divorce: Same lawyer for both spouses?

There is also info here which may help

https://www.ch.ch/en/divorce/
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Old 04.04.2021, 22:18
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Re: Divorce: Same lawyer for both spouses?

Typically the lawyer makes the interest of the client who selected him/her in the first place (in your case your husband).

The best in your situation is to go to a mediator. He/she will help define a divorce agreement and a custody agreement. The mediator will not take sides by definition, and will help you and your husband settle on something you both can agree.

Then, you can go to a joint lawyer to just check the "legal" language of the agreement and file it in court.

In your situation, a mediator will save you a lot of time, money and grief.
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Old 05.04.2021, 18:39
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Re: Divorce: Same lawyer for both spouses?

Even if you are 100% in agreement you should still seek independent advice just to make sure that you understand all your rights & obligations. Once the agreement is signed and passed through court it is a pain to change things. Also, the party who selects the lawyer may be doing so because they have been informed that said lawyer has a history of siding with either the husband or the wife. For example, a house wife and a husband who is busy at work may mutually agree to get divorced and the husband may leave it up to the wife to find a suitable lawyer as he is busy at work all day. The wife may select a lawyer who tends to side with women, or visa versa your husband may be selecting a lawyer who tends to side with husbands.
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Old 06.04.2021, 10:03
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Re: Divorce: Same lawyer for both spouses?

Check if you have any legal insurance (and if yes, whether it covers divorce).
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