Going through a divorce or parenting settlement is never an easy time in one’s life. That’s why getting the support of a good family lawyer is so important.
That being said, what do you do if you find yourself doubting your lawyer’s professionalism, or feeling like they haven’t got your back the way they should?
If you’re having doubts about your family lawyer, keep reading. In this blog, we highlight lawyer red flags, how to end your arrangement with your current lawyer and finding yourself a new one that can properly take care of your case and have your best interest at heart.
Signs it is time to find a new family lawyer
In this section, we’re highlighting what your lawyer should not be doing. If your family attorney is exhibiting any of the following signs, that might be an indication that they’re not the right attorney for you.
You find it difficult to get a hold of your lawyer, because they don’t take your calls or return them later. When you’re in their office for a consultation, they are distracted or take phone calls when you’re around.
A family attorney that is constantly distracted or demonstrates that they aren’t across all the details of your case is probably lacking in professionalism and won’t be able to produce the best possible outcome for you.
Lack of preparedness
You feel that your lawyer doesn’t know all the details regarding your overall situation and the specifics of your case. You may feel that your lawyer is not prepared to attend court or you’re not confident that they have the right approach and strategy to produce the best outcome.
Reaching a settlement outcome that works for a client means that a family lawyer has to do their due diligence in learning everything about the client’s situation and strategically planning and preparing for your court hearings.
Your lawyer doesn’t take your suggestions into consideration and dismisses your instructions and advice. When there is an update in the case, they often fail to inform you of it, and you’re rarely kept in the loop. Family attorneys who do this won’t be able to look out for your best interest and secure an outcome that works for you.
A big red flag is if you happen to be in consultation with your family lawyer, and they volunteer sensitive information about their other clients and cases. When a lawyer does this, it is reasonable to assume that they will also share the specifics of your case with their other clients.
Another potential ethical breach is that your lawyer has any kind of relationship with your adversary in court – in this case, your ex partner and their attorney.
These behaviours constitute a breach of confidentiality and unethical conduct. They’re serious offenses that no individual seeking legal counsel should settle for.
How do you change your family lawyer?
Many individuals get nervous about changing lawyers in the middle of a settlement, but keep in mind that:
- A good lawyer can get up to speed on the specifics of your case very quickly
- Your case file is yours and you can grant another lawyer access to it
Changing lawyers is not as difficult as people think. Once you find a new lawyer that you know you can trust, you will sign an authority to uplift document so they can have your case files transferred over from your previous attorney’s office.
The next steps
Before you sign over your case files to another family attorney, you need to find one that you can trust to have your best interest at heart. Read this guide to learn about what you should be looking for in a good family lawyer.
Another option to consider is handling your case yourself. Many people divorce without a lawyer – although in more complex cases, it is advised that you seek legal counsel.
Our Justice Family Lawyers team is a group of family law specialists that have extensive experience dealing with divorce and parenting settlements, as well as estate matters. If you’re looking for a new lawyer or are seeking a second opinion, contact us here for a free and confidential consultation.
Mona Elhassan is a content writer based in Sydney. She specialises in content relating to law, business, and workplace design and strategy.