Going through a divorce is challenging enough as it is. Having an attorney that makes the process unclear, difficult, or slow is only going to delay your case, which can impact your emotional health in addition to your divorce proceedings.
You shouldn’t feel guilty about switching divorce attorneys if it means you’ll get the best outcome for your case. Having the right representation throughout your divorce is absolutely necessary, but remember that ultimately you are responsible for that representation.
This means that ending up with a lawyer who’s inexperienced, has trouble returning phone calls, or is berating to you or your spouse is going to affect your case. You want an attorney who’s highly skilled and ready to handle your divorce as efficiently as possible.
Here’s how to know if it’s time for a new divorce attorney when your current one just isn’t making the cut.
There’s a Big Lack of Communication With Your Divorce Attorney
Having clear and realistic expectations at the start of your relationship with your attorney is important. You should expect to receive a response from your divorce attorney within 48 hours, whether it’s a phone call or an email.
If you’re having trouble getting in touch with your lawyer, especially in the event that legal issues arise and you need assistance, this is a major red flag that you may need to switch attorneys.
Do you know exactly what’s going on in your case, what’s been filed with the court, and what your attorney is doing to stay on top of things? You should expect honest and clear communication rather than legal jargon or no communication at all.
You should never work with an attorney who makes decisions—especially major ones—without you. You should always be informed of what’s going on with your case and be contacted to authorize decisions. If your attorney has been making decisions on your behalf without informing you, it’s time to find a new lawyer!
You Have an Inexperienced Divorce Lawyer
It’s not always easy to spot an inexperienced lawyer at first glance.
However, new attorneys are often revealed as time goes on. If your attorney is missing deadlines or your case is under threat of being dismissed due to lack of progress, your lawyer is not doing their job to fight your case.
Missed deadlines could cost you fees and failing to turn in necessary documents can severely hinder your case. If your lawyer is forgetting details about your case or fails to successfully negotiate with your spouse’s team, your case could be compromised.
No detail is insignificant in your divorce. An inexperienced attorney may have the best intentions, but may overlook crucial components that could secure your financial future. The risks are high in your divorce; working with an inexpert attorney could mean it’s time to switch.
Talk with your attorney about your case and what progress they’re making. Ask for updates and expect to receive them. If you feel your attorney isn’t going to work hard to provide you with the best possible result of your divorce, move on.
They Have an Unprofessional or Berating Manner
There are many things that define unprofessionalism among divorce attorneys. Among them include not being on time and not being organized and prepared to handle your divorce.
While there are many great attorneys out there, there are also those who lack professionalism. Worse still, there are attorneys who make you feel intimidated, talk down to you, or not take you seriously.
Remember that your divorce attorney works for you. You should feel comfortable with this person. You could be working with them for a while!
If you feel that your attorney is engaging in unethical practices to influence your case or being verbally abusive to you, your former spouse, or his or her team of attorneys, this person may not be the best professional to work with.
When your attorney becomes less helpful and more berating, it’s time for a new divorce attorney. When your relationship with this person becomes harmful to your mental health and to your case, consider seeking other representation in your divorce.
How to Choose the Best Divorce Attorney from the Start
The right attorney is essential to getting your divorce resolved as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Your divorce attorney should be a good fit for you. Although you don’t have to be friends with your attorney, divorce cases can drag on for quite some time. You need a professional who’s committed to working with you and should be someone you get along with.
Trust your instincts when it comes to hiring an attorney. Choosing the right person from the start can help you avoid unnecessary legal fees and have an amicable relationship during this difficult time.
Remember that while your attorney is certainly there for support, your attorney is not your friend or your counselor. Contact your lawyer for issues that arise in your case but not for emotional support. Having clear expectations about how the relationship will function is important.
Remember that taking days to respond is not appropriate or professional. Your attorney should be prompt, organized, and in touch.
An experienced attorney is essential, as a new attorney could compromise the outcome of your divorce and put your future at risk. You need a skilled, efficient professional who understands your divorce and is prepared to fight for your best interest.
If you feel your divorce attorney is no longer providing you with the best services, we invite you to contact our firm to set up a consultation. We can quickly get up to speed in your case and get you back on track to achieve the right outcome!