Getting a divorce can be extremely stressful as it is, so the last thing you need is an uncooperative attorney to make it all even worse. Now, no matter how skilled and experienced your current divorce lawyer is, if you’re not satisfied with their service, it’s time to move on. It’s a rough period of your life and you deserve to have the best possible attorney to fight on your side.
If you’re unsure whether it’s time to make some changes to your legal team or not, here are some telltale signs you should do so.
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1. They’re not here when you need them
Now, you shouldn’t expect your lawyer to pick up your calls in the middle of the night, every night. They’re professionals, but they also have their private lives apart from their profession, which is something you should understand and respect. Besides, divorce lawyers spend the majority of their time in the courtroom, especially in the mornings.
So, yes, just because your lawyer is busy at the given moment, it doesn’t mean they’re unresponsive or purposely ignoring your calls. However, there’s a fine line between your lawyer missing a couple of your calls and them refusing to dedicate their time to cater to your questions and concerns.
Make sure you let them know that you feel frustrated at their unresponsiveness and try working things out before you start searching for a new attorney. Again, you deserve someone who’ll put enough effort and time into helping you with your divorce case, so don’t put up with this type of behavior for too long. There’s simply too much on the stake there.
2. Your lawyer is not qualified to deal with certain aspects of your case
Divorces can get messy and complicated, and that’s exactly why you need a reliable divorce lawyer to provide you with quality legal assistance. If your case is particularly complex, especially if there’s a custody battle incoming, you’re better off hiring an attorney who worked on similar cases before.
If your attorney tells you they’ve never worked a similar case before, we suggest you look for someone else. While it doesn’t mean they won’t do the job well, inexperienced lawyers are a risky choice to make.
Similarly, if your attorney constantly shifts the responsibility to the other lawyers at their firm, they’re not worth your time. As we all know, legal services aren’t exactly cheap, so you have a right to expect quick and effective solutions directly from your attorney.
Overall, remember to ask your lawyer about their previous work experience after you’ve explained your situation in detail. In this way, you’ll know whether they’re qualified enough to work on your case or not, saving you both time and money later on.
3. They’re forgetful
If your attorney often “forgets” to remind you of important dates and updates on your case, they might not be the perfect fit after all. You deserve to know every small detail relevant to your case since these can make the difference between getting the results you want and walking away from your divorce disappointed and bitter.
We’re not saying that little mishaps of forgetfulness can’t happen even to the best attorneys: they can and they do. Still, if it’s something that happens consistently throughout your case even after you’ve brought attention to it a couple of times, it’s time to consider switching to another attorney.
Lastly, proper communication is key to every professional relationship. Don’t expect your lawyer to read your mind: if you have an issue with their behavior, make sure you discuss it at your next meeting!
4. You simply don’t like them
You don’t have to be best friends with your attorney, but if their attitude is overly standoffish and unkind, consider it a red flag. They’re working FOR you, not vice-versa. You have every right to demand respect and professionalism on their part, as long as you’re willing to return it.
Then again, sometimes you and your attorney simply won’t “click”, and that’s perfectly fine. Feeling comfortable with someone who’s supposed to work on your divorce case is of the utmost importance, so don’t feel bad for changing lawyers. You can make use of the free consultation option most law firms such as Kabir Family Law offer to get to know your new attorney before the process begins.
Still, whatever you do, remember that your lawyer isn’t your therapist. They’re there to help you achieve your rights and get what’s legally yours during the divorce process, not to help you get over your ex. Keep the relationship strictly professional, and we’re certain you’ll get the same type of respect in return.
5. They make you feel worse after every meeting
Your lawyer shouldn’t tell you only what you want to hear nor make any extravagant promises they can’t keep. However, they should also be able to provide you with realistic solutions and plans to achieve your focal goals and objectives.
Make sure you’re vocal about your needs and requirements before you’ve even filed the divorce papers. If the only feedback you ever get from your attorney is overwhelmingly negative, they’re likely not qualified to deal with your specific case. In that event, there’s nothing wrong with looking for another perspective.
Once you start looking for another attorney, ensure you’re choosing someone who’s experienced and capable, but also realistic with their promises. Your lawyer should never be a yes-man, but they shouldn’t make you feel hopeless either.
The bottom line
Divorce is never easy, but the right divorce lawyer on your side can make things so much easier. If your current attorney isn’t providing you with satisfactory results, there’s nothing wrong with looking for alternatives.
In this article, we’ve provided you with some red flags that could mean you need to switch divorce attorneys as soon as possible. However, remember to stay as realistic as possible: lawyers aren’t magicians, and there’s always a limit to what they can do. It takes both sides to cooperate, so ensure you’re being reasonable and communicating your needs as clearly as possible.