While some divorces can be settled amicably between parties or with the aid of an experienced mediator, there are certainly couples that have financial and familial concerns so complex that there is no easy way to determine who should get what. Or the parties may simply be too emotionally embroiled in the situation to think clearly and divide assets and dependents without fighting. In such cases, divorce attorneys are hired and a judge is left to sift through the evidence and decide who gets the items in contention.
But if you find yourself in the middle of the process with an attorney who doesn’t seem to have your best interest at heart, who isn’t doing everything in his power to win your case, who wants to engage in shady tactics you don’t agree with, or that you simply can’t afford, you might have to acquire new representation in the midst of your divorce proceedings. And this can be disastrous to your case. So here are just a few tips to help you make the transition, whatever your reason for seeking a new attorney mid-divorce.
- Find new representation before you fire your old attorney. The worst position to find yourself in while you’re dealing with divorce proceedings is lawyer-less, so even if you’re on the outs with your current attorney, you need to resist the urge to sack him until you find a replacement. Once you’ve got a new lawyer in your pocket, you can certainly terminate your contract with your previous attorney. But if you sever ties before you secure new representation, you’ll find yourself at the mercy of the courts and probably under attack by your soon-to-be-ex spouse’s attorney, potentially tanking your case.
- File for an extension of time. Your new attorney should be able to get up to speed pretty quickly on your case thanks to the fact that you already have all the necessary paperwork. And he can certainly read any transcripts related to the proceedings to date. But you should probably start by filing for some kind of extension so that your new lawyer can become familiar with your case. You may be keen to get the divorce over with, but the more time your attorney has to prepare, the better he can represent you and make sure you get what you’re asking for.
- Schedule consultations. You already know what you don’t want in a lawyer or you wouldn’t be shopping around for a new one. But you should probably take the time to make a list of what you want and what you don’t so that when you interview potential replacements, you’re able to find one that is going to make it to the end of your divorce proceedings with you.
- Get your ducks in a row. Switching directions mid-stream is risky, but you can mitigate the potential harm by having everything in readiness for the switch. This means getting together all relevant paperwork and compiling any other information you think your new attorney will ask for. This can significantly reduce the time, cost, and hassle of your transition.
- Find someone you trust. If you’re to the point that you’re ready to switch attorneys in the middle of a divorce, you are probably having some pretty serious issues with your current representation. This could make you wary of other lawyers. So it’s important to consult with qualified and experienced attorneys until you find one that you feel comfortable with and confident in. Whether that ends up being your best friend or a DKY Law Divorce Attorney, the most important thing is that you come out of the ordeal feeling like your lawyer did everything he could to get you the best possible settlement.