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Can I Change Lawyers in the Middle of My Divorce?

When you are going through a divorce in New York, you need confidence and trust in your divorce attorney. Those two qualities provide the foundation of a strong working relationship.

If you believe your attorney is no longer looking out for your best interests or if you have lost faith in their abilities, changing attorneys might be the answer.

Signs You Need a New Lawyer

Divorce is emotional enough without adding an overbearing or dismissive attorney to the mix. If you begin to feel like you and your case are getting the short straw, examine the facts through objective eyes. Have an honest conversation with your attorney. If you then feel like a change is needed, then by all means look for a new divorce lawyer.

Warning signs it’s time to consider a new attorney include the following:

  • They are slow to return calls or other communications.
  • They are not providing you with copies of important documents.
  • They confuse your divorce with another case.
  • You feel like a case number and not a person.
  • Your attorney is discouraging you from strategies that could save time.
  • Your attorney is overextended and cannot give your case the proper time.

Choosing the Right Divorce Attorney

An initial consultation is a great opportunity to get a sense of an attorney’s work style. You want an attorney who has experience and knowledge, but you also need to work effectively with them.

Here are some questions to ask an attorney in the initial consultation:

  • How many divorce cases have you handled?
  • Have you worked on cases similar to mine?
  • How often do you litigate divorce cases?
  • What options do I have other than court?
  • Do you focus on divorce and family law cases?
  • What strategies or methods would you use with my case?
  • Who is your typical client?
  • Who is my primary contact through the divorce?
  • What kind of support staff do you have?
  • How accessible are you?
  • What weaknesses do you see in my case?
  • What are possible outcomes?
  • How am I charged for your legal services?
  • What do you expect from me throughout this process?

Their answers to these questions will give you insight into whether they are the right attorney or law firm for you. If you are made uncomfortable by anything they say, move on.

Steps to Firing Your Attorney

Before firing your lawyer, interview candidates to be your new lawyer. You should also check your contract for a termination clause. If there are specific steps or timing outlined in the contract, follow it.

Hire a new attorney before firing the other. You do not want to have a period when you are not represented. After you have the new lawyer on board, write a termination letter to your previous counsel.

If your case was filed with the court, you will need to notify the court of your new legal representation.

Ensure that you pay your previous attorney for any services rendered.

Attorney-Client Relationship Impacts a Divorce Case

A divorce is a life-changing event. Your attorney plays a pivotal role in determining the outcome of the case. Having a good lawyer with whom you have a strong working relationship can make a tremendous difference.

Learn more about the Law Office of Dennis R. Vetrano, Jr., LLC., in a confidential consultation. Ask us all the questions you need. Tell us about your case. We are a small firm with considerable resources to help a wide range of clients.

Reach out to us online or call (845) 605-4330 to schedule.

Have general New York divorce questions? Check out our Divorce FAQs!