Can I Fire My Divorce Attorney? (Top 10 Reasons to Fire Your Divorce Attorney)

Not all divorce attorneys are the same, and sometimes you may find that the one you hired does not meet your expectations. 

What happens when your attorney is not meeting your expectations or is not fulfilling their duties? 

Knowing when it’s time to fire your attorney and find someone better suited for your needs can be challenging. This may prompt the question, “Can I fire my divorce attorney?” The answer is “yes.” 

In general, you can fire your attorney if you are not satisfied with how your attorney handles your case. 

This article will cover the top 10 reasons to fire your attorney and what you should consider before making that decision.

10 Common Reasons to Fire Your Attorney

1. Lack of Communication Communication

Communication is key in any relationship, including the one with your attorney. If your attorney is not returning your calls or emails promptly or is not keeping you informed about your case, it may be time to find a new attorney. 

You should never feel like you are in the dark about your case.

2. Lack of Experience/Incompetence

Your attorney should have experience in handling divorce cases. If you find that your attorney does not have enough experience or is not familiar with the laws in your state, it may be time to find a new attorney. 

Your case is too important to be handled by someone not qualified.

3. Lack of Professionalism 

Your attorney should be professional in their demeanor and behavior. If your attorney is not acting professionally or engaging in unethical behavior, it may be time to find a new attorney. 

4. Lack of Empathy 

Going through a divorce is difficult and emotional, and you want an attorney who understands what you are going through. If your attorney is not empathetic to your situation or treating you respectfully, it may be time to find a new attorney. 

You want someone who will be on your side and support you.

5. Lack of Progress on Your Case

If your case is not moving forward or there is no progress being made, it may be time to find a new attorney. Your attorney should be working on your case and making progress toward a resolution. 

If you are not seeing any progress, it may be time to find a new attorney who will be more proactive in resolving your case.

6. Lack of Preparation 

Your attorney should be prepared for every court appearance and have a strategy for your case. If your attorney is not showing up for court dates, is unprepared, or is not presenting your case in the best possible light, it may be time to find a new attorney. 

You want someone who will fight for your rights and present your case in the best possible way.

7. Questionable Billing Practices

An attorney who overcharges their clients, pads their bill, or engages in other unethical billing practices should be fired immediately. Clients have the right to transparency when it comes to billing, and any attorney who fails to provide this transparency should not be trusted.

You want someone who will be honest with you about the costs and fees associated with your case.

8. Lack of Respect 

Your attorney should treat you with respect. If your attorney is not treating you with respect or belittling you, it may be time to find a new attorney. 

You want someone who will be on your side and treat you with the respect that you deserve.

9. Ignoring Your Preferences

Every client has their own unique set of preferences and priorities, and a good attorney will take the time to understand and respect these preferences. 

If an attorney fails to listen to a client’s preferences or disregards them entirely, it may be time to find a new attorney better suited to the client’s needs.

10. Conflict of Interest

If you discover that your attorney is acting against your best interests, has a close relationship with your spouse or your spouse’s family, or fails to disclose conflicts, it may be time to find someone who can provide unbiased advice.

How To Fire Your Divorce Attorney

If you have decided that it is necessary to terminate your relationship with your current attorney, here are some steps you can take:

  • Review your contract: Review your contract or agreement with your attorney to determine what the termination process involves. This will help you understand the terms and conditions that govern the relationship and the termination process.

  • Talk to your attorney: The first step in firing your attorney should be to discuss your concerns with them directly. Schedule a meeting or phone call to discuss any issues or concerns you have and allow them to address them.

  • Hire a new attorney: If you are going to fire your attorney, you should take steps before that to meet with and retain a new divorce attorney.

  • Notify your attorney in writing: If you have decided to terminate your relationship with your attorney, it is crucial to do so in writing. This will create a clear record of the termination and ensure that there is no confusion about the status of your case. Make sure you request a copy of your entire file and ask that it be delivered to you or your new attorney. Also, ask your attorney to file a motion with the court to withdraw as your attorney. 

  • Have your new attorney file an entry of appearance with the court: Once you have notified your attorney of your decision to terminate the relationship, you will need to have your new attorney enter their appearance with the court. This document officially notifies the court that you have terminated your relationship with your attorney and identifies your new lawyer.

What are the Potential Cons of Firing Your Divorce Attorney

There can be downsides to firing your divorce attorney. Here are some of the potential risks or disadvantages to consider:

  • Delay in your case: Firing your attorney and hiring a new one can cause a delay in your case. The new attorney will need to review your file and get up to speed on the details of your case, which can take some time. This delay can be especially problematic if you are up against a deadline or need to resolve your case quickly.

  • Additional expense: If you are firing your attorney mid-case, you may be required to pay any outstanding fees and expenses owed to your current attorney. Additionally, you will need to pay for the services of your new attorney, which can be an additional expense.

  • Legal strategy changes: If you hire a new attorney, they may have a different approach or strategy for your case then your previous attorney. This can mean that your case takes a different direction than it would have with your prior attorney, which can be both good and bad.

It is essential to carefully weigh the potential risks and benefits of firing your divorce attorney before deciding. If you have concerns about your attorney, it may be worth discussing them with them directly or seeking a second opinion from another legal professional before taking action.


Q: Can I fire my divorce attorney at any time? 

A: Yes, you can fire your divorce attorney at any time. However, you should be aware of any potential consequences or fees that may be involved in doing so.

Q: Can I switch attorneys mid-case? 

A: Yes, you can switch attorneys mid-case. However, you should be aware of any potential consequences or fees that may be involved in doing so.

Q: What should I do before firing my attorney? 

A: Before firing your attorney, you should ensure that you have a new attorney lined up and ready to take over your case. You should also review your current contract to understand any potential consequences or fees in firing your attorney.

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Tim McDuffey is a practicing attorney in the State of Missouri. Tim is a licensed member of the Missouri Bar and Missouri Bar Association.

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