Switching to a New Family Law Attorney

When you decide to work with one family law attorney for your New Mexico divorce, it can be tough to try to switch to a new attorney in the middle of the process. Sometimes, people want to change attorneys because they disagree with the attorney’s tactics, they are not happy with the progress so far, or they are concerned they can’t afford the fees. While any one of these concerns may be enough to prompt an attorney change, it’s important to evaluate your situation before you decide to switch to another attorney during your divorce.

Identify the Problem

Ask yourself why you want to change attorneys. Is the issue solvable? Some issues may not directly be caused by your attorney; however, other issues may indicate your family law attorney simply isn’t the right fit. 

If you are concerned about how long the divorce is taking or another matter that is likely out of your attorney’s hands, reevaluate your reasoning behind the switch before getting a new attorney. A problem that is easily solved should be talked through with your current attorney first.

However, if you discover the issue stems directly from your attorney, finding a new one may be worth the trouble. An attorney who is not keeping you informed throughout your case, does not communicate with you clearly, or fails to show compassion or care for your situation may not be the ideal fit in your case. If you’re not certain whether the problem is coming from your attorney directly, keep an eye out for the following potential warning signs:

•       Your calls or emails aren’t returned within 48 business hours. While attorneys are busy and may not always be able to answer calls or reply to messages right away, if this happens continually, it’s a red flag.
•       You notice a lack of planning or order. If your attorney is constantly asking you for information you’ve already passed along or asking you to sign forms you’ve already signed, it could signal that he or she is not on top of the case.
•       Your attorney isn’t meeting deadlines. When your attorney continually misses deadlines that are under his or her control without a solid explanation, it could be due to poor management skills.

Of course, you still need to remember that attorneys are humans and can make mistakes just like everyone else. It’s when your attorney makes more mistakes than is excusable that you may need to seek legal help elsewhere.

What to Do Next

When you have decided to change attorneys, the first thing you should do is consider what led you to that attorney in the first place. Weigh that information against your experience with him or her. If you did not have the same experiences that other people did based on reviews and ratings, you can frankly discuss this with your attorney.

Once you are confident that changing attorneys is the right move, you’ll have to start your search all over again. As you likely did before, check the reviews, ratings and credentials of the attorneys near you. Talk to people you trust who hired family law attorneys in the past, and arrange consultations with the names on your shortlist before you decide whom to hire.

Changing your attorney in the middle of your divorce isn’t fun, but if your current attorney isn’t up to the job, it’s vital you find an attorney who will handle your legal matters properly and make your case his or her priority. It’s important to work with an attorney you trust and are confident in, especially in delicate and sensitive areas such as divorce and family law.