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Ideally, the attorney-client relationship is supposed to continue until the completion of the case. However, situations may arise that require you to change your legal representation before the case has been settled. This can be a challenging decision since you are already trying to cope with the legal and emotional demands of the case.

The law allows people to replace their attorneys at any time.

You could part ways with your attorney even if you signed a retainer with the lawyer. However, there are special instances where getting a new attorney may not be possible. This happens when changing a new attorney will significantly affect the timeline of the trial. The court may have to give permission before you can change your divorce attorney in that scenario.

Why Fire Your Lawyer

Terminating your relationship with your current lawyer can be intimidating, but sometimes it is the best choice for you to make. Here are some of the reasons why you may decide to do it.

  • Incompatible Personalities: It is not necessary to form a lifelong friendship with your attorney in order to work successfully together. However, there should be a mutual understanding of your needs, respect, and professionalism. The attorney should be somebody who can understand your emotional involvement in the case and provide solutions.  if you find yourself constantly arguing with your attorney and there is a lack of effective communication, your personalities may not be compatible.
  • Lack of Trust: Your likelihood of obtaining the results you want in a case is significantly decreased if a mutual trust doesn’t exist between you and your lawyer. When you discover that your lawyer is keeping some things from you, or constantly accusing you of withholding information you shouldn’t be working with them. 
  • Poor communication: Sometimes, talking to your lawyer on the phone or receiving replies to your emails takes a lot of time. This is inefficient communication, and it can be detrimental to the progress of the case.
  • Inefficiency: Good lawyers are efficient and complete their jobs on time. Once you realize that they are missing court deadlines and making constant requests for time extensions, you have to find somebody else. Once you have made the decision to terminate your attorney’s services, there is a process that you must follow.

How It Happens

You shouldn’t terminate your contract with your current attorney until you have found another lawyer. If you do that, you may miss a critical deadline that could affect the outcome of your case. In addition, there may be complications with fee-splitting if the case is determined before you get a substitution attorney. Therefore, you must first find a qualified attorney and sign a retainer prior to contacting your current lawyer.

The next step to switching attorneys is to reach out to your current lawyer. You have to notify them that you will no longer use their services and that another lawyer will take their position. The notification can either be sent by you or your new attorney.

The new attorney will get your files from the previous attorney and begin working on the case. In the meantime, they must also produce a Substitution of Attorney document. This is the only way to confirm that you are no longer using the services of the previous lawyer.

The Substitution of Attorney document must have signatures from your previous and current lawyers for it to be valid. Once this process is complete, you can now enjoy the services of your new lawyer.

Considerations Before Retaining A Divorce Attorney

While it’s impossible to know how any working relationship will play out over time, here are some things to ask or consider before signing that retainer.

  1. Conflict Resolution Approach: Understand the attorney’s approach to conflict resolution. Some attorneys emphasize amicable settlements and mediation, while others may adopt a more adversarial approach. Choose an attorney whose approach aligns with your preferences and the nature of your case.
  2. Success in Similar Cases: Inquire about the attorney’s success in handling cases similar to yours. An attorney with a proven track record in cases with similar issues can provide valuable insights into the likely outcomes and challenges you may face.
  3. Ethical Standards: Verify the attorney’s ethical standards and professional conduct. A reputable attorney should adhere to high ethical standards and maintain integrity throughout the legal process.
  4. Reputation and Reviews: Research the attorney’s reputation in the legal community. Read reviews and testimonials from previous clients to get a sense of their track record and how satisfied clients have been with their services.
  5. Communication Style: Effective communication is essential during a divorce. Choose an attorney who is responsive, communicates clearly, and keeps you informed about the progress of your case. A good attorney should listen to your concerns and be accessible when you need assistance.

In Conclusion 

Your life will dramatically change if you lose a case in court. This can happen if you’re not working with the right attorney. Consequently, the law allows you to seek the services of a different lawyer even if the case is still ongoing. For more information or to schedule an appointment, fill out our online form or call us at (619) 289-7948. We look forward to helping you.



[image courtesy of pexels] 

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