All praise is due to Allah. May Allah's peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah, his family, and companions.
The scholars have different opinions on this issue. The point of difference is where a common Muslim cannot choose the preponderant opinion based on any criteria like examining the proofs, the condition of the mufti in terms of knowledge, fear of Allah and so on. In short the scholars have three opinions on this issue.
The first opinion: The common Muslim should take the severest opinion.
The second opinion: He should take the easiest opinion.
The third opinion: He is given the choice to choose any opinion between the two or more opinions.
My opinion is that if the issue is as mentioned in the question, then the common Muslim should take the easiest opinion because this is the basis of the Sharee'ah. Allah the Exalted said, " Allah desires ease for you, and He does not desire for you difficulty" [al-Baqarah: 185]. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "I was sent with the religion of the oneness of Allah which consists of ease," as was transmitted in Musnad of Imam Ahmad from the hadeeth of 'Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) which has a chain of narrators which is not faulty. Another authentic hadeeth in the Musnad from a Bedouin states that he heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) saying, "The best of your religion is the easiest." Moreover, when the Prophet (peace be upon him) was given a choice between two issues, he would choose the easiest one, as was transmitted in the Sahihayn from the hadeeth of 'Aishah.
However, it must be noted that this is applicable in cases where the common Muslim comes across two opinions from the scholars, and he cannot choose the preponderant opinion using any criteria as I have mentioned. This is to avoid a situation where a person follows up the fatwas of the scholars and seeks the easiest fatwas. The scholars had a consensus that this is not permissible. Rather, what is compulsory is to follow the truth as much as possible. And Allah knows best.
Shaykh Khalid al-Mosleh