In Minnesota and most other states, one attorney cannot represent both parties in a family court proceeding. (Do not be misled by the movie Juno!) Yet it is common for divorces to happen with only one attorney involved. When one attorney is involved, that attorney represents one of the parties; the other party waives counsel.
This situation begins with the premise that both parties are entitled to have an attorney. Commonly each party has an attorney representing them, and advising them regarding their interests. Along with the right to counsel comes the right to waive counsel. If both parties are unrepresented, both are waiving their right to counsel. (In many instances, a party who waives counsel will have consulted – but not retained – an attorney.)
If one party is represented, the other party can choose not to have an attorney. But the party who chooses not to have an attorney should not look to the other party’s attorney for legal advice or guidance as to whether or not to accept a settlement proposal. An attorney involved in the process should provide representation and advice to only one party.