Can I fire my attorney?

Posted on Nov 18, 2013 by Katie Carter

Divorce is a difficult process, but you should never feel like you’re in it alone. An experienced Virginia divorce attorney can make all the difference between being completely and totally overwhelmed and finding a way to create a blueprint for future security. It may not be great today, but with the help of an attorney, you should feel like tomorrow is going to be better and better all the time.

Sometimes, though, an attorney is part of the problem, rather than part of the solution. It can be difficult to know for sure whether your attorney is actually doing what she’s supposed to do, especially since you probably don’t know all that much about the procedure or what should be happening. Still, there are times when women have talked to me about their concerns and I have to agree—something seems fishy.

You absolutely can fire your attorney if you’re dissatisfied. Of course, that’s not something you should do quickly or without trying to speak to the attorney first to find a mutually agreeable solution to whatever problem you’re having. You have a significant financial investment in this person and, at one point, you trusted her enough to put your divorce in her hands.

Talk to your attorney, but make sure you confront her in a rational, non-accusatory way. Remember that there may be an explanation for whatever has been going on. You may be misunderstanding something or just not all that familiar with the process. Especially if trial (or a major hearing) is coming up in the near future, you may want to tread carefully. You don’t really want to fire your attorney right before an important court appearance, have the judge refuse to allow you to have a continuance to find new counsel, and be hurt as a result of it.

That being said, however, there are definitely times when women tell me things about their attorneys that shock me. If something just isn’t right in your relationship with your attorney, it’s not a bad idea to get more information about the process before you say something. We teach our monthly divorce seminars on the Second Saturday of the month, and a lot of the women who come have already retained attorneys in their divorces. I get a lot of questions about whether something should or shouldn’t be happening, and that helps many people reach a decision about what their next step should be. If you’d like more information about our Second Saturday seminars, “What Every Virginia Woman Should Know About Divorce,” click here.

If you just can’t make it work with your attorney, it’s definitely okay to fire her. Make sure you do it at a time that your case won’t be hurt, and do some research beforehand so that you know who you’d like to hire to take over the case after your former attorney has been removed. Good luck!