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Can I Fire My Wisconsin Divorce Attorney?

 Posted on March 14, 2022 in Family Law

Wisconsin divorce lawyersChoosing a divorce attorney is an important decision that can have an impact on your life long after your Wisconsin divorce is finalized. While Wisconsin state law is the same for every divorcing couple, the advocacy of a great divorce lawyer can make a major difference in the quality and outcome of both the divorce process and the final divorce decree. If you are unhappy with your current attorney, you may want to make a change; here is an overview of the process. 

Common Reasons People Fire Their Divorce Lawyers

Ideally, your attorney will work hard on your behalf and respond to you in a timely manner. They should show interest in your case and be advocating for your best interests. Unfortunately, attorneys are normal people, and they have professional shortcomings just like everyone else. Here are some common reasons you might fire your divorce attorney: 

  • The attorney responds to your calls or emails very slowly or stops responding altogether 
  • The attorney acts against your wishes without consulting you first 
  • The attorney comes to meetings or court appearances and is disorganized, missing important information, or seems otherwise unprepared 
  • The attorney seems to lack a clear understanding of the applicable laws 
  • The attorney is engaging in unclear or unethical billing 
  • The attorney acts unethically by failing to inform you of settlement offers, having undisclosed conflicts of interest, or breaking the attorney-client confidentiality 
  • The attorney seems not to care about the outcome of your case  

How Do I Change My Divorce Attorney? 

It is important to note that the court will need to approve the change in attorneys before the case moves forward. Sometimes courts will not approve a change in attorneys because a trial date is too near or because a client has changed attorneys too many times already. Before firing your old attorney, it is important to talk to your new attorney and give them as much information as possible so any likelihood that the court may reject the substitution is taken into account. 

It is also unwise to fire your attorney before you have retained a new one. Doing so could cause major delays and setbacks in your case. Changing attorneys already presents some challenges because the new attorney must become familiar with your case, which takes time. It also requires paying a new retainer and paying for the cost of file copying from your old attorney, which can be expensive. 

Once you decide to fire your old attorney, the new attorney will prepare an agreement and can handle communication between your old attorney if you do not want to talk to them. You will need to make sure you are financially settled with your old attorney, and any disagreement about fees may need to be formally handled in court. 

Call a Waukesha, WI Divorce Lawyer

Changing attorneys in the middle of a divorce case can present a major hassle. At Bucher, Wolff & Sonderhouse, LLP, our experienced Brookfield, WI divorce attorneys can help you make this transition smoothly so you can continue making progress on your case. If your current divorce attorney is failing to meet their responsibilities, call us today at 262-232-6699 to schedule a free consultation and find out more about how we can help. 



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