Can I switch law firms during the middle of my divorce?
Going through a divorce is hard enough on its own. So when you start to doubt your own lawyer’s commitment to your case, it can make a difficult situation seem overwhelming. The good news is that you have options; if you feel your lawyer is not the best fit for you and your case anymore, you can switch law firms in the middle of your divorce. As a client, you have the right to fire your attorney at any time.
How do I know if I should switch lawyers?
There are several red flags that indicate it might be time to hire a new divorce lawyer:
Unresponsive: Everyone knows that lawyers are busy people. However, if your lawyer regularly makes you wait days or even weeks for an answer to your questions, that could be a red flag. Find a lawyer who is timely in responding to your calls and emails.
Regularly Forgets the Facts of Your Case: If your lawyer forgets important details of your case, such as whether you have children, this is a red flag. It is also a bad sign if your lawyer keeps asking you to send copies of the same documents over and over. Whether your lawyer is simply disorganized or lacks focus on your case, both scenarios could harm your case.
Misses Deadlines: It is a bad sign if your lawyer constantly asks for time extensions or outright misses deadlines. Missing an important court deadline could have serious implications for the outcome of your case.
Disciplinary Actions: The Washington Bar Association keeps a record of disciplinary actions for lawyers. If your current lawyer has such disciplinary actions on file, read what it was for and decide whether it is grounds to switch lawyers.
Gut Feeling: Sometimes the decision to switch divorce lawyers just comes down to a gut feeling. If you do not feel confident in your lawyer’s ability to represent you in negotiations, mediation, or court, you should find another lawyer.
What should I do once I decide to switch lawyers?
The first thing you should do if you decide to make the switch is meet with another divorce attorney. Set up a consultation with that lawyer and discuss your case and your experience with your current lawyer. If this meeting confirms your suspicions that something just is not right with your current lawyer, it is probably time to hire a new lawyer.
If you find yourself in this situation and would like to speak with a divorce lawyer at Crouse Erickson about your case, call us at 509-624-1380. We are here to help you get the legal help and attention you need, and will fight for the best resolution to your case.