The Tiny Indicator That Reveals It's Time To Fire Your Divorce Lawyer

You should feel like your divorce lawyer is on your side.

Contemplating firing divorce lawyer Alliance Images | Canva

Divorce attorneys are like fingerprints: no two are the same. Some may coddle you, while others may avoid your phone calls or be harsh and tell it like it is. While it's important that you feel comfortable with the person you hire, sometimes you two just don't mesh. It happens. Not everyone gets along, but if you and your divorce lawyer don't work well, you begin to wonder if they can truly represent you. In that case, should you fire your divorce lawyer and find another or voice your concerns to your existing counsel?   


Divorce coach duo Kimberly Mishkin and Liza Caldwell discuss the process of working with a lawyer and whether it's worth it for you to change lawyers. You may be surprised to learn that switching attorneys may not always be in your best interest. The bottom line is: that it depends on where you are in your divorce proceedings. If you're in the beginning of the process, then, by all means, find someone new. You must have the right divorce lawyer, someone you can trust to fight for you and fight well.

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However, if you've already made some headway in your divorce, it probably isn't strategic to suddenly change attorneys. And sometimes, even if it is still in the early stage, it might be worth trying to give this relationship a chance. Like any interpersonal relationship, even professional ones sometimes take time to evolve into something that you're fully comfortable with. That doesn't mean you should be miserable with the divorce attorney you have.

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Instead, try to fix your relationship with your lawyer by asking questions. As we mentioned, no two divorce attorneys are exactly alike. Your best friend's divorce lawyer might have answered every one of her e-mails, while yours may never respond. And without knowing why, you'll just get frustrated and feel like they are not really on your side. Find out what to expect and how they prefer to communicate. Do they prefer everything to be discussed in person? Perhaps they prefer a frantic phone call to a frantic e-mail?

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You'll never know unless you ask and if you don't ask, the relationship between you and your lawyer will only grow more strained. How can you hope to do your best in court if you don't know how the person you're fighting with works? Ask and find the best way to communicate and you'll have a stronger — and less frustrated — team ready to fight in your corner. And if you simply do not feel heard, or like your attorney doesn't have your best interests at heart, it might be time to fire your divorce lawyer and look for a new one. 

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Liza Caldwell runs SAS for Women, a boutique firm that specializes in helping women free themselves from dysfunctional and unhappy relationships. Estee Kahn is a writer, amateur photographer, and contributor to YourTango. Her bylines have also appeared on Huffington Post and Yahoo, where she writes about dating, relationships, friendship, and self-esteem.