Switching Attorneys During A Divorce

When it comes to switching attorneys during a divorce, it is a common practice and there is a multitude of reasons why someone choices to switch attorneys. The following are the primary reasons for switching attorneys:

  1. Personal Reasons. Most people will switch their lawyer if they feel like they are not compatible. Now, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to switching your attorney. The first thing to make sure of is that you can keep your emotions in check when dealing with your attorney. They are aware that it is a highly stressful time in your life when it comes to what you are going through but they will recommend the best course of action based on the information provided. Now, the problem may lay with the attorney, whether it be them pressuring you to do something that you are not comfortable with or you start noticing that they have a spotty reputation. 

  2. Financial Reasons. Attorneys are expensive and depending on the type of case and representation you receive, it can get costly fairly quickly. Your attorney’s hourly rate is only a portion of the overall legal costs that go into cases and your defense. If you do discover that it is getting too costly for you, it may be in your best interest to find an attorney that is less expensive, more dynamic, or more efficient. It’s vital that you keep an eye on your legal costs, your financial situation, and make inquiries about where you are in your case with your attorney. 

  3. Ethical Reasons. You may decide to switch attorneys if you feel that your attorney is acting unethically or potentially doing something illegal. At the minimum, it would be best to seek a second opinion. Oftentimes, when an attorney is doing something illegal or unethical, there is a deeper issue that can affect your case negatively depending on what exactly happened. You may find that your concerns were unwarranted, but your peace of mind is vital when working with an attorney.

How to Choose the Best Lawyer for You

When it comes to selecting an attorney, there are a lot of things that go into making a good choice for you and your specific situation. Below are the 10 most common things people look at when choosing a lawyer:

  1. Long-term or Short-term? After the need for an attorney has been established, it’s important to know whether they will need to be retained for the long-term or short-term. Short-term is considered needing an attorney for advice on your legal situation. Long-term is considered needing an attorney’s assistance indefinitely, with no clear cut timeframe for them being retained.

  2. The area of law. Most attorneys do specialize in a specific area, e.g family law, worker’s compensation, etc so it is important to consider what area of law you require for your specific case. 

  3. Are they highly regarded? When looking into attorneys to handle your case, it is important to check that they do know their stuff, based on the area of law your case falls into. Personal recommendations, such as from friends and family are extremely important to consider because it helps you develop a sense of who you’re looking to hire. 

  4. Location. Location is super important when it comes to legal support because laws do vary by state and every state has set requirements for legal assistance. For most smaller issues that may arise, especially if you live in a rural area you can handle it by phone or email. For larger issues, it is recommended to find someone close to you so that you develop a face-to-face relationship with them.

  5. Experience. While your attorney must know the law in the specific area that you need assistance with, the other major thing you should look at is how many cases they have handled that are similar to yours in nature. This will give you an understanding of how the cases have been handled in the past and a basis for what you can expect. 

  6. Size of the firm. While size is not the only factor to consider when choosing a firm, it is something to consider. Larger firms may be more established and have the ability to handle a multitude of things that may come your way with your case, but it can also be costly to go with the larger firm. Smaller firms may be more personal and potentially cheaper, but may not necessarily have the resources to handle your specific case.

  7. Cost and Billing. This is an extremely important part to consider when choosing a firm. If you know that you can’t afford to go with a specific firm, it is important to shop around and find out exactly what their specific costs are and what you are comfortable with spending is 100% up to you.

  8. Compatibility. While a lot of the factors you’ll be considering when choosing a firm are more on the professional side, it is important to see how compatible you are with the attorney you’re considering. Make sure that the attorney you hire is someone that is trustworthy and makes you feel comfortable, while also being mutually respectful and supportive of your choices. 

  9. Availability. Availability is vital when it comes to choosing an attorney. You want to make sure that the attorney you are looking to hire has the availability to accurately assist you with your case. 

  10. Communication. While communication goes hand in hand with compatibility and availability, it is important to consider how well they communicate in between the meetings and all the paperwork that needs to be completed. 

The Most Important Things to Discuss When Selecting an Attorney

When it comes to selecting an attorney to represent your case, it is important to ask a lot of questions. The following 9 questions are the most important to consider:

  1. How much experience do you have with cases like mine?

  2. Are there any potential conflicts of interest that we should be aware of?

  3. What strategies do you have in mind to handle my case?

  4. How much are we looking at for cost?

  5. How much time will this take?

  6. What is your preferred method of communication?

  7. How do you envision our business relationship?

  8. What is one of the most difficult issues you’ve had with a client and how was it handled?

  9. What is the most confusing aspect of this legal area?


This video does discuss how to switch lawyers during your divorce case. If you do need further assistance, we are always available here at Genus Law Group and look forward to assisting you.

Anthony Spratley
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Experienced Divorce, Child Custody, and Guardianship Lawyer Serving Albuquerque and Beyond