Is It Worthwhile to Change Divorce Attorneys Midway Through Your Case?
Divorce rarely goes as smoothly as spouses expect. Even when conflict between divorcing spouses is relatively low, couples are often daunted by the thought of dividing up a lifetime of possessions and assets fairly. If the couple shares a child, the process of reaching a division or sharing of custody can introduce even more emotionally-complex considerations.
When your divorce case hits a rough patch, you might begin to wonder if the fault lies with your divorce attorney, and whether you might be better off finding a new attorney to take over your case. Switching attorneys can come with some amount of risk, but it may be your best option in certain cases. Before you switch attorneys, consider the following:
- Winning on every issue isn’t the only sign of a good attorney. Divorces, especially when they’re hotly contested, will necessarily involve compromise. It isn’t realistic to expect that your attorney will win or obtain your optimal desired result on every disputed matter. It’s possible that your attorney had solid strategic reasons for agreeing to compromises on certain issues that they could explain to you if asked.
- The progress of your case may have little to do with your attorney. Some divorce cases progress very slowly. It may feel like weeks since you’ve heard from your lawyer with new developments in your case. In most cases, delays are explained by the overloaded dockets of California family courts. Your attorney may also be up against delaying tactics by opposing counsel, as well. Consider asking your divorce lawyer if they could provide updates on your case at regular intervals so that you can be sure you understand what your lawyer is doing to push your case forward, and what might be to blame for any delay.
- Your attorney may not realize that you’re dissatisfied. If it feels as though your divorce lawyer isn’t carrying out your wishes in how you want your divorce to proceed, it may be worthwhile to have a conversation with them about your concerns and whether they would be willing to adjust their strategy before you decide to find a replacement.
With these factors in mind, there are certain behaviors that can serve as a warning of divorce attorneys who are not carrying out their duties responsibly, such as:
- Your lawyer asks you to submit the same documents multiple times. If you’re asked to send your attorney the same documents over and over, this could be a sign of serious disorganization on behalf of your lawyer or their firm.
- Your attorney blows deadlines. If it seems as though your attorney is constantly asking for more time from you or the court, this is a sign that your lawyer may have bitten off more than he or she can chew.
- Your attorney won’t return your calls or emails. Your lawyer may not respond immediately each time you call, but clients are entitled to know what’s going on in their case and to ask questions about what happens next. If you have to call or email multiple times to get answers to simple questions or to get an update on your case, it may be time to find a more attentive and responsive attorney.
If you’re facing divorce in Southern California and want to find a responsible, caring, and dedicated attorney, contact the Diamond Bar family law attorneys at Blasser Law for a consultation at 909-843-6363.