Finding the right attorney for your family law concerns is crucial to the outcome of your case. With the right attorney onboard, you have the highest chance of the best possible outcome. Sometimes, people go with the wrong attorney at the start of their case and don’t realize it until some time has passed. Whether it is worth it for you to change attorneys during your family law case will depend on several factors, but before you weigh this option, ask yourself the following questions first.
Are You Being Kept in the Dark?
Your attorney should make sure you understand the overall process of your case and any of its developments. No communication on your behalf should ever be sent without you reviewing it first, and no filings should be submitted without your review and consent. Any questions you have for your attorney should be responded to in a timely manner. All important case dates, such as hearing dates, should be communicated to you ahead of time so you can plan in advance for them. If you feel like you don’t know what is happening in your case often, that may mean your attorney is not keeping you informed.
Are You Not Being Listened to?
You should feel confident that your attorney knows how you want to proceed and will go down that path after you have spoken with them. If you feel pressured to accept terms you don’t want or take positions you are not comfortable with, your attorney may not be listening to you or understanding your concerns or priorities. In addition, if your attorney adopts positions that are contrary to what you thought you agreed to, there is an issue with your communication with them. Your attorney’s role is to provide you with information and to confirm you understand that information and your options. Without full guidance and effective communication, you will struggle to make informed decisions.
Do You Feel Your Attorney is Unprofessional?
Be mindful of any signs of potential misconduct by your attorney as this can hint at a larger issue. Potential signs of misconduct include not arriving to court appearances or meetings on time or at all; frequently asking for extensions for no given reason; missing filing or other deadlines; misstating facts in any official court submission or submission to the other side’s attorney; and missing or incorrect information in official filings. The court and the other attorneys involved in your case will notice this behavior, and it can even damage your own position in your case.
Is Your Billing Unclear?
Your attorney should be open about the cost and fees in your case up front and answer any of your questions about the billing process. A respectable attorney will leave you with a clear idea of their rates and how you will be billed. An attorney who is not clear on how they bill or who doesn’t bill regularly is someone to steer clear of.
If you feel that you made the wrong choice in your family law attorney, it is possible that you can find a new attorney to handle your case with the care it deserves. Be sure to interview any new potential attorneys and explain what you are experiencing with your current counsel. The prospective attorney will be able to advise you on whether switching attorneys at this time will help alleviate all or some of the problems you are experiencing. Ask any questions you may have and make sure you have clear answers before you make your final decision.