What Can I Do If I Don’t Like My Attorney?

The attorney-client relationship can be a difficult one to navigate.  At one end, your attorney can be your most trusted adviser, counselor, and in some situations, friend.  They see you through the bad times, hear you out when you need to vent, and you know that they are fighting for your best interests despite the fact that your spouse or ex-spouse wants to harm you and/or your children.

 

However, unless your attorney is working for free, you are most likely spending a lot of money on your attorney on a monthly basis.  This dynamic can cause tension in the relationship if you feel that your attorney has been billing overbilling you or if you no longer have the money to pay for your attorney. In other situations, you may simply think your attorney is not fighting enough for you or there is a personality conflict.

 

Whatever the case may be, there are some ways you can substitute your attorney for a new one, or represent yourself.  In most divorce cases, a judge will allow a litigant to switch attorneys as many times as he/she wants so long as the divorce case is no yet set for trial.  However, switching attorneys several times can cause extensive delays in your case and will only increase your fees as the new attorney gets re-acquainted with your file. Once your case is set for trial, however, the judge may allow a new attorney to substitute in but may not allow your attorney to withdraw unless you specifically request it.  Furthermore, the judge will likely not continue your trial date, which could mean that your new attorney will need to get acquainted fast with your case, or you will need to try your case on your own.

 

A third approach would be to talk to your attorney about your issues and expectations, and where the breakdown in the relationship stems from.  You may find that your attorney is unaware of your expectations or there may simply be miscommunication that is leading to your frustration and disappointment.  If, however, you feel that the relationship is irreparable, do not wait too long to substitute your attorney for another one or the judge may just not let you.

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