I have, at times, successfully offered a couple who wish to have a legal separation or have determined for certain that a divorce must occur the services of scrivener. First of all, I am not commenting on this to in any way encourage divorce. Divorce usually does not accomplishes the freedom or healing the parties expect. Rather, I am merely offering an alternative to the traditional adversarial lawyer versus lawyer dissolution action that can be so costly.
A scrivener does not represent either party (as opposed to the very risky joint representation of both parties). A scrivener acts as an educated scribe who knows how to put the agreements of the parties into the proper format and wording so as to accomplish what BOTH parties have agreed upon. The scrivener denotes they prepared all the documents, however they do not appear in court or move the matter forward.
This cost saving approach works only when the two parties are able on their own or with the benefit of wise counsel to agree on all issues. If the parties fall out of that agreement, then the scrivener cannot then represent either party, so there is some risk of having to start over with a new lawyer.