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What Does “Conflicting Out” Mean?

Divorces are always a long, expensive, and painful process. The once love of your life is now out to take everything away from you. Depending on the severity of your once significant other’s rage, they may employ tricks to get the house, the car, the kids, the dog, the boat, and even the clothes off your back.

The term “Conflicting Out” is a rule designed to protect all parties in a divorce case. The practice is intended to protect spouse 1’s private information and safeguard spouse 2 from being manipulated by the lawyer to gain knowledge and win the case.


Also known as dissolution of marriage, divorce is a legal process that dissolves the marital bonds and restores their status to single. (Source: Gillespie Shields)

In 2021, the national divorce rate in the United States is at 2.9 per 1,000 people, and the average length of a marriage is pegged at 8.2 years. With the statistic, it clearly shows that a lot of couples call it even past nine years of marriage. (Source: Legal Jobs)

Conflicting Out

A divorce can turn a once loving and trusting couple to the opposite end of the spectrum. Spouses turn love into resentment, anger, and distrust. These negative feelings will lead one spouse to gain everything from the other and make sure their lives are ruined. (Source: Denmon Lawyer)

For the benefit of one side, some dirty tricks are employed, and the manipulation through the process of  Conflicting Out is one of them.

It was initially used to safeguard all parties from conflicting interests; spouses nowadays use this trick to gain more advantage over the other. Conflicting Out is essentially one spouse ensuring that the other would have little or no access to the best divorce lawyers in the area.

Since the rule ensures that conflicting interests are avoided, spouse 1 would try to interview the top divorces attorneys in the area and share confidential information about the separation. Even if they decide to hire a different lawyer, the previous lawyers who interviewed with spouse 1 are legally bound to decline representation for spouse 2. (Source: Sterling Lawyers)

Heidi Klum allegedly used this strategy on her now ex-husband Seal when they divorced in 2012. She was reported to interview with many top divorce attorneys in Los Angeles to ensure that Seal could not hire them. (Source: Bikel Law)

How to Avoid Conflicting Out

Most lawyers recommend hiring an attorney the moment you decide to pursue divorce. Make the first step in interviewing divorce lawyers and hire one immediately. As with the saying “the early bird gets the worm,” find the lawyer that can best represent you. Make sure to find lawyers skilled in the complexities of divorces, such as custody, identification, and division of assets, alimony, and even child support.

However, if you get caught off-guard and lose access to the best lawyers in your area, you may consider hiring from other regions or states. Some lawyers can make the other spouse pay for their required travel expenses once they win the case. (Source: Bikel Law)

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