How to Change Divorce Attorneys

By Lisa Magloff

Changing attorneys during a divorce is not uncommon. This may happen if you choose your first attorney in a hurry at the beginning of the divorce, then realize you do not have a good rapport with that attorney. It can also happen when there is a conflict of interest, or when you feel your attorney is not doing all he can for you. It is your right to change attorneys, but you must make sure that you do not compromise your case while you are changing attorneys.

Step 1

Retain a new divorce attorney. You need to do this before you end your relationship with your existing attorney in order to make sure you are not without legal representation. Sign a contract with your new attorney. Inform your new attorney of any upcoming hearing dates and filing deadlines.

Step 2

End your relationship with your existing divorce attorney. You can do this in writing or in person, but even if you are dismissing your attorney in person, you should also write a letter of termination. The letter should clearly state the date you wish to terminate your professional relationship and should give the name and contact details of your new attorney. You should also request in writing that all of your case materials be sent to your new lawyer by a certain date. In some cases, your new attorney may do all this for you.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Step 3

Ask for copies of all outstanding bills from your current attorney. If you paid an initial retainer, verify your balance and ask for the date when you will receive the balance.

Step 4

Request that a copy of your client file be sent to your new attorney. You may be charged a fee for this. Make sure your new attorney received this file and also that she has copies of any other documents related to your case that you may have at home. Be aware that your previous attorney only needs to supply documents that have already been filed with the court, documents you supplied or discovery documents. Your new attorney may make this request for you.

Step 5

Ask your new attorney to file an "Entry of Appearance” document with the court handling your case. This is the official notification to the court that you have changed divorce attorneys and will allow your new lawyer to represent you. If you are using a mediator, she will also need to receive a copy of this document. Your spouse's lawyer will also need to be sent a copy of the document.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
How to Fire Your Divorce Lawyer

References

Related articles

How to Transfer a Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is a legal document that allows someone to act on your behalf; this person in known as an agent, or attorney-in-fact. A power of attorney can allow someone to manage your financial affairs or make health care decisions in the event you become incapacitated. To transfer a power of attorney from one agent to another, you will need to revoke the original power of attorney document and write a new one. You can revoke a power of attorney at any time and for any reason -- or for no reason.

What Happens If My Lawyer Quits in a Divorce Fight?

When you sign a retainer agreement with your divorce attorney, you enter into a business relationship with him for the duration of your case. He’s legally obligated to represent your interests to the best of his ability and you’re usually obligated to cooperate with his suggestions and directions, tell him the truth and pay him on time. If you’re unhappy with the way he’s representing you, you can easily get out of the contract. Your lawyer can get out of it as well, but it’s usually more difficult for him to do so.

How to Stop Divorce Proceedings Once They Have Been Started

Out of anger and frustration, a husband and wife may decide to file for divorce, yet days later change their minds. Some states force a cooling-off period by refusing to allow a couple to start a divorce until they have been separated for six months -- twelve if there are minor children involved. Other states, however, may allow a couple with no children to file a complaint for uncontested divorce and receive a signed divorce decree within thirty to forty-five days. You may be be able, however, to stop the divorce proceedings before the court enters the decree.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

Notice of Withdrawal for a Divorce

In a divorce case, you often receive many different court documents filed by the attorneys or the parties. In the ...

What Things Should You Bring to Your Lawyer for Bankruptcy?

To prepare for a bankruptcy filing, you must provide your attorney with complete and accurate information about your ...

Can I Reopen a Dismissed Divorce in California or Do I Need to Start All Over?

If your divorce is dismissed in California, that means you must refile, unless the dismissal was caused by your or your ...

How to Revoke a Contingency Fee Contract & a Power of Attorney

Generally, a grantor may revoke a contingency fee contract and a standard power of attorney at anytime. These types of ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED