Changing Attorneys Mid-Case
Often, folks just like you call me part way through a divorce, or even after a divorce is over, that say that are not satisfied with their attorney. Most people feel that if they have hired someone, they “probably shouldn’t” switch attorneys during the process. I think it’s important for a client to know when and if it may be time to consider changing attorneys mid-case and how to do it.
Your divorce is a very important time in your life. You are setting the stage for the close of your “married life” chapter and the beginning of your “fresh start” chapter. You should be able to know that your attorney is on your side fighting hard for your future. You should feel as if your attorney is giving you information to make an educated decision and have faith in his or her ability to do so. This is not the time to have an attorney with whom you are not comfortable, have no confidence, don’t like and/or don’t trust.
Sometimes your attorney has to be the bearer of bad news. She or he has to give you advice that you may not necessarily like or want to hear. Unfortunately, the law isn’t always fashioned to give you what you want. The law makers don’t always think the way that we think as “regular people.” Don’t mistake your attorney giving you bad advice for his giving you real advice. There’s a difference. If your attorney advises you correctly, though perhaps not with the exact position that you want to hear, realize that s/he is helping you nonetheless. I say this to caution you from changing attorneys because your attorney his not saying “yes” to everything that you want.
If you feel, in any way, that your relationship with your attorney is not what you want, think long and hard about whether or not changing attorneys mid-case is for you. The last thing that you want to have on your mind when the process is over that you “should have done” something or that you “didn’t know” about a particular issue. Make sure that you do not let anger fuel your decision. Sometimes your lawyer has to be the messenger of bad news and it can be easy to “shoot the messenger”. Just take your time, think it over before you react. You want to know that you made good decisions based on sound advice from someone that you trust. Bottom line, if that isn’t the feeling that you have, then consider a change.