A great relationship between divorce lawyers and their clients is essential for clients to feel comfortable throughout the course of their divorce.
Though clients typically do their research to find the right divorce attorney to help them, there are occasions when someone decides they no longer wish to work with the attorney they initially chose and want to find another one.
In Texas, can clients change divorce law firms in the middle of their divorce proceedings?
They can, but doing so requires careful consideration so the change does not disrupt the progress that has already been made.
Texas Law Permits Changing Lawyers During A Case
Texas state law does permit anyone who wishes to change from one divorce lawyer to another to do so even when in the midst of a divorce legal proceeding.
There are certainly times when changing divorce law firms benefits the client seeking the divorce if suitable reasons to do so have arisen.
Yet changing divorce attorneys in the middle of a case should be done with care as there are times when doing so could also negatively affect the case.
Should Someone Change Divorce Lawyers During Proceedings?
Clients need to feel comfortable with their divorce lawyers and trust that their lawyers are working in their best interest throughout the divorce case.
If something has happened to change a client’s opinion about their choice of an attorney for their case, changing might be a good idea.
These are some of the circumstances when switching to a different divorce law firm might be recommended:
- Poor Communication - Good communication between attorneys and clients is essential. A client should not feel out of the loop or that their attorney is not communicating effectively with them.
- Attorney Does Not Listen - An attorney with poor listening skills who does not seem to not understand their client may make critical strategy or case errors.
- Time Management Issues - An attorney who continuously misses deadlines or asks for repeated court extensions may be dealing with time management problems, sometimes from being spread too thin from working on multiple cases.
- Disagreement About Strategy - Clients and their divorce attorneys must be able to agree on the case strategy for there to be a chance of a favorable outcome.
- Personalities Not Compatible - Sometimes, even after consultation and initial research, personalities just do not mesh and a client might not feel comfortable with their chosen attorney or trust them fully.
- Disagreements About Fees - Fees should be worked out and agreed upon before case work begins so the client has the option to go elsewhere if they do not agree.
When Is Changing Divorce Lawyers Not Recommended?
Before changing to a new divorce lawyer, clients should give it some serious consideration first and then do it at the right time.
Finding a replacement attorney will involve doing the preliminary research again and meeting with new ones to find the right match.
It also means that the new attorney will need time to get up to speed with the case and basically start with a client from the beginning, other than the legal filings that have already been done.
That said, the one time when it is inadvisable to change attorneys and more recommendable to try to stay with the current one is when a divorce case will go to court and the hearing is less than a month away.
Changing lawyers in such a close time frame likely will not leave the new lawyer enough time to build a strategy to be of any service to their new client.
Thinking Of Changing Divorce Attorneys?
Sometimes, situations simply do not work out as they were intended and clients who have hired a divorce attorney may have reason to change to a new one.
While changing to a new divorce law firm during a divorce proceeding is permissible in Texas, it should be done with care.
Discuss the reasons why a current attorney is not working first and if no common ground can be reached, there is surely another divorce law firm nearby with the right attorney who is ready to take the time necessary to pick up that divorce case already in progress.
Schreier & Housewirth Family Law
1800 West Bowie Street, Suite 200-E
Fort Worth TX 76110
Gregory L. Housewirth is a Board-Certified Family Law Specialist practicing in Fort Worth Texas. With 30 years of family law experience, Mr. Housewirth has represented hundreds of clients in divorce, custody, CPS, modification, and grandparent cases. In addition, Mr. Housewirth is a qualified family law mediator and a member of Collaborative Law Texas, a practice group dedicated to promoting collaborative divorce in Texas.