Great question. Thank you for asking.
The answer (at least for the jurisdiction where I practice divorce law (Utah)) is: no, a lawyer has no ethical obligation to dissuade a client from seeking a divorce. That does not mean, however, that a lawyer is ethically barred from urging a client to explore the possibility of salvaging a strained or broken marriage instead of ending it, if the lawyer feels that divorce may not be in the client’s and/or the client’s family’s (and the client is a member of his/her own family) best interest.
Indeed, there have been times when I’ve met with a client or potential client who is contemplating divorce and I have, based upon what information the client has provided to me, concluded that while there may be serious problems in the marriage and family, divorce is not or may not be the best response to those problems.
Divorce is a very difficult thing to recover from or reverse. Often, when a spouse seeks and obtains a divorce, he/she is shocked and devastated to learn that divorce wasn’t the answer to the spouse’s troubles. If a marriage can be repaired and healed, that is usually far better (especially when a married couple has children) than divorce. It’s always worth considering and pursuing reasonable efforts to save a marriage before contemplating divorce.
Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277