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Can I Change My Attorney During a Divorce in Illinois? 

 Posted on October 19, 2021 in Family Law Blog

wheaton divorce lawyerAlthough getting divorced is never easy, the divorce process can quickly become a nightmare if your attorney has become non-responsive or shows up to meetings unprepared. Besides the expense of hiring an unhelpful attorney, you may now be faced with the additional burden of finding and hiring someone else. 

But before you decide to change your divorce attorney, it is important to set clear expectations so you know what could change and what will likely stay the same. There are certain things you can expect of your attorney, but some frustrations with the divorce process are natural and will happen no matter how great your lawyer is. 

When is Hiring a New Attorney a Good Idea? 

Although anyone can generally fire their attorney for any reason or no reason at all, you will be more likely to experience a smooth transition if you take certain steps first. Firing your attorney without having a new attorney already may lead to delays in your case and difficulty getting information transferred to your new lawyer. 

Furthermore, a court may require that you ask permission before changing an attorney because doing so can cause major delays in a court case. Some people change attorneys frequently and hold up the divorce process. Whether this is intentional or not, the other spouse and any children can suffer because of the added expense and length of the process and a judge may lose his or her patience. 

It may not be a great strategy to fire your attorney because you are frustrated that the case is not moving forward quickly enough or because you are not getting the exact results you want. Divorces take time and, as the saying goes, a good compromise leaves everyone unhappy. Likewise, it is important to consider whether you are personally contributing to a negative dynamic with your attorney. If you are excessively demanding, argumentative, or unwilling to provide necessary documents, a new attorney is not likely to help. 

However, if your attorney seems unprepared, disorganized, genuinely apathetic as to whether you succeed, or simply stops calling you back, it might be time to take action.  

Firing Your Attorney

It is important to formally notify your attorney that you are ending the relationship, especially if your attorney seems to be engaged in unethical behavior. Sending a letter that requires confirmation of receipt gives you proof that you informed your attorney that you are ending the relationship and that they should stop working on your case immediately. You should request a copy of your file to give to your new attorney and make sure your old lawyer refunds you any unearned prepaid retainer or other fees. 

Meet with a DuPage County Divorce Attorney

Divorce can be unpredictable, but your attorney should make the situation better, not worse. If you are dissatisfied with your attorney’s representation or communication, schedule a meeting with an experienced Lombard, IL divorce lawyer with A. Traub & Associates. We will give you a comprehensive, no-pressure consultation to help you find out whether we can be helpful to you. Our firm prides itself on being forthcoming and communicative, so you know what to expect and when to expect it. Call us today to schedule an initial consultation at 630-426-0196



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