Life can sometimes be very difficult for some folks. For people who are experiencing separation or divorce, life can seem challenging. Furthermore, when you feel that the attorney you hired is not doing all they can to support you during this difficult time, life can really seem insurmountable. Therefore, what should you do when you feel that your lawyer is not fighting for your divorce case? Below are a few ideas that may help.
People have problems with their lawyers for a variety of reasons, but some of the main issues involve:
- Fee conflicts
- Issues involving communication or neglect
- Competency problems
- Ethical concerns
Any of these areas can cause major concerns for people who have hired a lawyer to help protect their personal interests. If you have these types of concerns about your attorney, then you must be proactive about protecting your well-being, and proving your side of the case.
Lawyers are trained to resolve conflicts. However, if a lawyer does not communicate well with their client, then they could create a conflict that can be problematic for you.
To be proactive from the beginning of your relationship with your attorney, the first thing that you can do is to let them know your concrete expectations. Some lawyers and clients will sign a contract with one another about expected fees, timetables, and the availability of the lawyer.
If you expect your lawyer to be maintain regular (e.g., weekly) contact with you about your case, then these terms should be specified in the contract. Whether or not you signed a contract, if you feel your lawyer is neglecting you during your divorce proceedings, there are other strategies that you can use.
Try Emails and Phone Calls
The best, most unobtrusive way to start getting your attorney’s attention is by sending them an email. Lawyers regularly check their emails, so it is a good way to see if someone from their office will respond to you.
If your attorney does not reply via email, then you should call their office. A phone call is more direct and personal than an email. Since you speak to your lawyer over the telephone, you should be able to better gauge why they have not followed through with activities that you feel are important. If you are unable to speak with your attorney, or if you are dissatisfied with the results of the conversation, then move on to the next step.
Write a Letter
Sending a letter is another good way to get your point across to your lawyer. In the letter, you may want to state a specific date that you expect to hear from them, or that you want them to complete something. While going through the stages of a divorce, there are several deadlines that your lawyer will need to meet. Therefore, it is important for you to insist that those deadlines are met.
Do you need to file a complaint?
Perhaps you feel you have exhausted all efforts to contact your lawyer about supporting you during your divorce proceedings. If so, as a last resort, you may decide to report them to the regulatory board that governs their work and license. This board could be a state, county, or city bar association.
Once someone files a complaint about a particular lawyer with a governing board (such as the boards mentioned above), then an investigation occurs regarding the practice of that lawyer. The case is typically handed over to a grievance committee that reviews lawyers’ work and ethics. Most lawyers are eager to keep their attorney’s license in good standing, so hopefully, your situation will not resort to having to involve a regulatory board.
You always have the option of firing your attorney. If you decide that the relationship between you and your lawyer is not positive for you and your case, ask the lawyer for your file, then seek legal assistance elsewhere.
You have some options when you feel that your lawyer is not supporting your case and fighting for your rights. Separation and divorce are difficult, and you need to have someone working for you that understands all the nuances of the divorce proceedings.
Good lawyers possess the necessary knowledge about divorces to benefit you and your situation. As one reputable lawyer once stated, “The essence of good outcomes is good communication.”