Divorces happen. Everyday. They are complicated, stressful, chaotic, emotional,
messy, and nerve-racking. I remember reading somewhere, "Divorce
is like being hit by a Mack truck. If you live through it, you start looking
very carefully to the right and to the left." Now this blog isn't
about the stresses of divorce, but it's a short read on how going
through a divorce can make a bad foreclosure even worse. It especially
makes it harder for the attorney defending the foreclosure lawsuit. You
see the problem that arises with Divorce + Foreclosures = whether a conflict
of interest would arise.
There are rules by which attorneys are governed. The rules regulating the
Florida Bar contain a portion that involves conflicts of interest. A lawyer
must not represent a client if:
(1) the representation of 1 client will be directly adverse to another
(2) there is a substantial risk that the representation of 1 or more clients
will be materially limited by the lawyer's responsibilities to another
client, a former client or a third person or by a personal interest of
For example, assuming you are wise and you are being represented by counsel
in your foreclosure matter, when the parties are going through a divorce,
if Spouse 1 wants to keep the house and Spouse 2 wants to sell the house
there is a conflict of interest. The attorney who once defended the two
must now withdraw from the case. The attorney will not be able to represent
the two because they want different things. Granting the wish of one spouse
will be directly adversed to the other, thus posing a conflict of interest.
Here's a little advice, if you are about to be in foreclosure and going
through a divorce at the same time. Make sure you get a different attorney
to represent your interest the foreclosure matter. Well, you may be thinking,
'what if we want the same things?' In a nice world, this sounds
like an exception, however, if at any point the other person changes their
mind, despite the bombs going off between both parties, it will create
a conflict of interest, and the attorney would have to withdraw as counsel.
Due to the complexity and extensiveness of both areas of law, this blog
will be limited to one example and one tip. I highly recommend those who
find themselves simultaneously dancing to the beats of breakdancing foreclosure
and the salsa rhythms of divorce, please seek the legal assistance of
an attorney that SPECIALIZES in these specified areas of law, as they
each are extremely different.
The only similarity between the two is that no one goes into a marriage
with the intentions of getting a divorce. No one buys their dream home
with the intentions of having the bank seize it after years of paying
it off. Things happen in life. Everyday. Foreclosures happen. They are
complicated, stressful, chaotic, emotional, messy, and nerve-racking.
If this happens to you, you should start looking very carefully, to the
right and to the left. Hiring the wrong attorney will feel like being
hit by a Mack Truck in the end. Give me a call so I can try to STOP one
of the Mack Trucks in your life!
On the corner of stop signs and mack trucks,
Sonja-Lucienne Cajuste, Esq.