Picking the right divorce lawyer isn’t always an easy task, in spite of all the information and resources available to modern divorcees. Because people rarely expect to get divorced in the first place, you may not know what traits to even look for in a divorce attorney. In other cases, you might find someone who seems like the perfect fit – only to discover later that they don’t have your family’s best interests at heart, or the skills to handle your case.
At Kallen Law Firm, LLC, we’re a group of highly-respected family law and divorce attorneys serving St. Louis, and we’re passionate about resolving divorces before they ever go to trial. We can also take your case the full distance to divorce court if needed, using our resources and years of trial experience to advocate for your family’s needs.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss the potential ramifications for your case if you decide to fire your existing divorce lawyer. We’ll also touch on a few scenarios where it may be wise to consider other legal counsel.
Changing Legal Counsel During a Difficult Divorce
The most important thing to remember before you fire your legal counsel is that divorce is nearly always complicated. Even if your attorney has the strong qualifications, track record, and legal experience needed to take on divorce cases in Missouri, you may still have to deal with some rough patches during a divorce. This is especially true if you have a painful, conflict-laden relationship with your soon-to-be ex-spouse.
If any of the following reasons are behind your desire to switch lawyers, it may be best to stay the course first:
- The progress on your divorce is slow. Although most divorce attorneys try to expedite the process wherever possible, the progress of your case is ultimately dependent on two things: 1) the clarity of communication with your spouse, and 2) the complexity of your assets and family arrangements. If your case is moving slowly, be upfront with your attorney about your concerns. Chances are good that they’ll listen, and help you understand the roadblocks in your way.
- Communication is strained. Your divorce attorney acts as the facilitator and mediator between you and your ex-spouse, so it’s critical that you can communicate effectively with them. If communicating is difficult for any reason, it’s important to tell your lawyer immediately, rather than allowing the problem to spin out of control. They may be able to assign a paralegal or secretary to answer any questions for you when they’re working with other clients, or give you an after-hours number to call.
- They aren’t winning everything you want. Although your wishes – and the needs of any children – should be your divorce lawyer’s main priority, you also need someone who can look at the big picture. Sometimes, that does mean embracing a strategic compromise on smaller matters, so that you can focus on preserving what counts. It’s a good sign if your attorney is interested in maintaining positive relationships, as “winning at all costs” is rarely an effective strategy in divorce court.
So When Should I Consider Switching?
Of course, if you’re truly unsatisfied with the level of client service and legal ability you’ve witnessed, you’re within your rights to switch counsel. This is doubly true if you’ve observed any unethical or illegal behavior during your divorce case. Divorce is a serious matter, and you deserve someone who will represent you fairly and honestly.
Once you decide to switch, keep in mind that there may be unintended consequences for your case, especially if the transition is difficult. Your lawyer may know things that aren’t written down anywhere, and if organization has been a consistent problem, it’s possible that another divorce attorney may struggle to pick up the pieces. Additionally, not all divorce attorneys will take on cases midway through, so you’ll need to be sure that any new firms are up to the task.
Need counsel from a skilled St. Louis divorce attorney? Contact Kallen Law Firm, LLC at (314) 441-7793 today for a free, no-obligation consultation.