10 Aug How to Determine When You Need a New Divorce Attorney
It can be beyond frustrating when your divorce lawyer appears to lack interest in your Family Law related case. Although you understand that your matter is not the only case your lawyer is working on, when it seems like your lawyer is not putting in a sufficient amount of effort – it can be difficult to know exactly what to do. Further, it can be even more difficult to know for sure if your lawyer’s interest is waning or not. But, there are some telltale signs that indicate that it is probably time to have a conversation with your attorney about it and/or begin to look for new legal counsel.
Your calls are not being returned
Most lawyers will return phone calls from clients within 24 hours. If a lawyer cannot return a phone call within this time frame, it means that he or she is not managing their caseload effectively. It’s hard to have faith in a lawyer who conducts business in a haphazard manner. Another reason for not returning phone calls might be that the lawyer is not a good communicator. If your divorce attorney cannot communicate with clients promptly, it is probably best to have a conversation with or move on to another lawyer.
Your lawyer does not have a game plan for accomplishing goals associated with your case
A major part of your attorney’s job is to work with you to create a plan for resolving your case. In fact, your first consultation with your lawyer should include a prioritization of the objectives of your case. The lawyer should commit to this plan and not deviate from it without first consulting with you and providing a meaningful explanation for the proposed change. Additionally, the lawyer’s bills should include a detailed itemization of the work that was completed for the case and this work should have been performed in an effort to accomplish your goals. If this is not the case, it is possible that your attorney does not have clearly set goals and might not be sure in which direction your divorce case is headed.
Your attorney makes significant decisions without consulting you
It is okay if your lawyer makes minor decisions on your behalf. However, any major decisions need to have your “okay” first. Your attorney works for you and must get your approval for any significant decision that can affect the outcome of the trial. If you fear that your attorney is making decisions on your behalf without your knowledge, it is imperative that you confirm those suspicions right away. If you discover they are true, it is time to seek out a new divorce lawyer.
You do not like your attorney
Attorneys are people with somewhat distinctive personalities. Sometimes an attorney’s attitude or demeanor might simply rub you the wrong way. Trying to stick it out with a lawyer you do not like can make your divorce proceedings more challenging than they need to be. Considering divorcing, itself can be stressful, having an attorney you do not like is a stressor you do not need.
You feel intimidated by your attorney
It is of the utmost importance that you feel comfortable with your divorce lawyer. Attorneys can come across as aggressive and intimidating at times. It is true that successful lawyers tend to have a certain “edge” to their personalities. However, your attorney needs to be able to keep that persona in the courtroom and have a more understanding demeanor with clients. If your attorney seems aggressive, too intense, or talks down to you, he or she may not be the right attorney to handle your divorce case.
Your lawyer does not remember you or your case
Although divorce lawyers are usually busy and have numerous cases they are working on simultaneously, it is essential that they remember all of their clients and the details of each matter. If you are always reminding your attorney who you are and what the major details of your case are – it could be an indication he or she does not have a vested interest in you and it is time to move on.
Your lawyer does not ask many questions
Every divorce case is different. Therefore, attorneys need to ask lots of questions in order to gain the knowledge necessary to advocate for the desired outcome. If your divorce lawyer does not ask enough questions to ensure that you are adequately represented, it may be a problem.
Finding a good divorce lawyer is a significant step in achieving a desirable outcome in your case. If you feel like your divorce lawyer has lost interest in your case or does not have your best interests in mind, it is time to seek new legal counsel. Always keep in mind that your divorce attorney works for you, and there is no shame or harm in severing a dysfunctional relationship with your attorney to find one who will better meet your needs.