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Divorce is complex enough when a client has a great relationship with their attorney. Unfortunately, someone may hire a divorce attorney who seems great, only to find out that the attorney is not meeting the client’s needs or expectations. Maybe the attorney seems totally unprepared for hearings, or never returns phone calls. If this sounds like you, you may be wondering: Can you change your attorney in the middle of the divorce process?
Simply put, yes - you can generally fire or hire an attorney at any time. However, there are advantages and disadvantages to firing an attorney. Consider your situation carefully before making this important decision.
If your attorney is not providing you with the legal representation you need, hiring a new attorney who is passionate about advocating on your behalf could be an excellent decision. Your new lawyer may be much more responsive and engaged than your previous attorney.
A competent attorney will be able to make the divorce process understandable and straightforward and help you work towards a divorce decree that suits your preferences. They will communicate promptly and clearly and answer any questions you may have.
Hiring a new attorney may cause delays in your divorce case. You may need the court’s permission to change lawyers in the middle of a divorce case, and your new attorney may ask the court to cancel or delay court dates until they can learn more about your case.
Before you fire your attorney, consider whether you may be contributing to circumstances that could repeat with a new attorney. If you are difficult to work with or unwilling to provide necessary documents, hiring a new attorney will not make your situation better.
Even if you have fired your attorney and they are no longer working on your case, you may still owe them money for any work they have already done. Delinquent legal fees can end up in collections and make other attorneys hesitant to take you on as a client.
Once you have decided to fire your attorney, write a letter letting them know that you are ending your relationship. Ask them to stop working on your case right away. Then, ask them to send you a copy of your case file, as your new attorney will need to see it as soon as possible. Consider sending the letter by certified mail so you can have proof that the letter was delivered to your attorney. If you paid a retainer to your attorney, ask them to refund any unearned fees.
If you are unhappy with the service or representation your attorney is providing, consider the outstanding client service at Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio. Our Hinsdale, IL divorce attorneys are committed to providing the very best representation to our clients. We will work together to create a divorce strategy that takes your unique circumstances into account and advocate assertively for a settlement that works for you. Contact us today at 630-920-8855 to schedule your initial consultation.