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Michigan Family Law Blog

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

What Happens If You Fire Your Divorce Attorney

The slow process of contested divorce cases in Michigan increases tensions among divorcing parties and often creates angst between clients and their attorneys.

The high stress of divorce places people on a roller coaster of emotions, and involved parties may strongly question or disagree about strategy, timeline, efficacy, and expense. It’s not uncommon for an attorney-client relationship to fall apart during divorce proceedings.

If you find yourself repeatedly questioning any of these factors with your Michigan divorce attorney, you may also be wondering what happens if you fire your divorce attorney and start over? Let’s consider a few things before ending your relationship with your divorce attorney.

5 Things to Consider Before Firing Your Divorce Attorney

1. Are You Transferring Frustration to Your Attorney?

A contested divorce is often an unpleasant ordeal. Not only are you cleaning up the mess of a failed relationship, but you are also subjected to an emotionally and financially draining legal process that likely can't end soon enough.

During this process, frustrations are bound to develop. Take time to evaluate if your concerns are with the process, the opposing party, or truly with the quality of your legal representation.

2. Review Your Fee Agreement

If you genuinely feel that you are under or misrepresented in your divorce, you certainly have the right to change attorneys. Before doing so, review your existing fee agreement for a complete understanding of your financial liability to current counsel.

Once you decide to change divorce lawyers, it’s wise to request a final, itemized statement of expenses to avoid financial disputes after separation. Your attorney has the right to be paid for work provided, and you should strive to meet your contractual obligation fairly and professionally.

3. Expect a More Costly Divorce Than Anticipated

Bear in mind that a newly retained attorney will need to review your case history and catch up to where you are in the proceedings. This review period is billable time, and you are essentially paying twice for work already done, once to your original attorney and again to the new attorney being briefed.

4. Anticipate a Slight Delay in your Divorce Process

If you have imminent court appearances and switch attorneys in the middle of your case, your new divorce attorney will likely ask the court for a continuance. New counsel will need time to become familiar with your case and strategize the best course of action toward a marriage settlement agreement or trial.

5. Beware of the Courts’ Perception

It is not uncommon for clients to change attorneys during a divorce at least once. However, if you change attorneys multiple times, the presiding judge may begin to question why.

You may be perceived as a difficult client or as a client with something to hide. This is particularly true in high-asset or contested child custody cases, where clients may be viewed as making unreasonable or unethical demands of their divorce lawyers.

Hire a Qualified Michigan Divorce Attorney to Represent Your Divorce

The ideal scenario for any party subject to legal action is to find an attorney in whom they have confidence and rapport. This is most true in the sensitive practice of family law.

With asset division, financial support, and child custody issues generally at the forefront of contested cases, selecting a well-regarded and highly experienced Michigan divorce attorney from the outset is essential.

Contact our office today for a thorough review of your divorce case. Whether you are at the beginning of your divorce action or are seeking alternative representation, you can trust our knowledgeable and well-qualified legal team to honestly assess your situation and work diligently on your behalf toward a satisfactory judgment. Contact our office today.


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