Can I Date My Texas Divorce Attorney?
Most state bar associations prohibit attorneys from dating or having sex with their clients. Texas is not among them—welcome news to divorcing people attracted to their lawyers. That means if you and your lawyer have sex, neither you nor he or she can get into legal trouble. But is it a good idea? Here’s why you should think twice before dating your lawyer.
The Perils of Mixing Business and Pleasure
Many of the dangers of dating your lawyer are the same as dating a co-worker. It muddles your interests, and puts you both in an awkward position. Some of the many concerns include:
- How you’ll manage your case if you break up.
- Whether you’ll expect to be prioritized or get a discount over other clients.
- To what extent your romantic relationship might color your lawyer’s view of your case, or his or her ability to make intelligent professional judgments.
Conflicts of Interest
If your romantic relationship with a divorce lawyer created a conflict of interest, then it could become a legal issue. For instance, dating your ex’s lawyer inevitably creates a conflict of interest, even after the case ends, so can land the lawyer in serious trouble. Likewise, if something about your relationship with your lawyer undermines their ability to represent you, this could be a conflict of interest—something that could subject him or her to state bar discipline.
How Long to Wait
What if you and your lawyer are no longer in a professional relationship? Or your case is almost done and you’re hoping to get a date? The risks of dating your lawyer when your case have been resolve are much lower—if, and only if, you’re not going to need your lawyer again. Consider waiting six months or so until the final disposition of your case. Then, if you still feel the same, give it a go.
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