Can divorce lawyer and his client start to date and start a relationship after one year of her divorce?

Can divorce lawyer and his client start to date and start a relationship after one year of her divorce being filed with court and judge? He is also divorce and available but has kids. They have mutual respect and admiration for each other; they live in the same estate and go to the same church. But in a few months she will still needs his help for setting up a trust and will for her kids. Is this situation considers she is still a client and he is still her lawyer. They cannot romantically involved?

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8 Responses to “Can divorce lawyer and his client start to date and start a relationship after one year of her divorce?”

  1. Aanya Verma Says:

    YES

  2. laughter_every_day Says:

    No law prohibits it. As to the ethics rules, they vary by state. My state has no rule at all about romantic relations with clients. I think that once the divorce is final and the person is no longer a client, no state would have any ethical rule about being involved with a former client.

  3. Lawless Uk Says:

    Sounds like a conflict of interest.

    She should ask him to recommend a collegue that can set up the trust etc.

  4. J.J.'s Advice / Avis de J.J. Says:

    If he was a crown prosecutor or judge, or something of that nature who is supposed to be a neutral party, I could see a conflict of interest. However, a lawyer already takes the side of his client. Generally you are allowed to be represented by a loved one in court, as well.

  5. Eisbär Says:

    This definitely could be unethical depending on the particular state’s ethical rules. But under the general American Bar Association rules (which most states follow), this would be considered unethical.

    ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct
    Rule 1.8 (j): "A lawyer shall not have sexual relations with a client unless a consensual sexual relationship existed between them when the client-lawyer relationship commenced."

  6. du nomad Says:

    There are no laws against it. However, it may be against the state’s ethics rules, which could get the lawyer in trouble with the state Bar. In my state, a lawyer can be disciplined (up to and including dis-Barment) for having sexual relations with a (current) client. Former client is okay, but if the two become romantically/sexually involved he can no longer act as an attorney for that person.

    Even where there is no rule against it, it’s not a very smart thing to do. Trying to do legal work for someone you are romantically involved with takes away much of your objectivity and puts unnecessary strain on both the professional and person relationship.

  7. deb.peg1 Says:

    Most certainly they can. People might frown upon it, but there’s nothing illegal or unprofessional about it. To be on the safe side, I would suggest the client find another attorney to represent her in setting up the trust and will for her kids: Someone not associated with the attorney with whom she is having a relationship.

  8. shandee saylors Says:

    I was in a very similar position last year. I found help from an attorney from here; http://www.lawyersearchcentral.tk