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Can I get a 2nd opinion on my case (divorce and custody) without firing my lawyer?

Hasbrouck Heights, NJ |

Sometimes I think my attorney is trying their best, but there have been slip-ups lately. I just don't think she's experienced enough for the complexities of my case. We just had our case management conference. Can I get a second opinion from another lawyer on some of what we've done?

It seems lawyers are reluctant to contradict each other, but if I may want to retain a new one, I would want an assessment on what's happened so far. I don't want to wait any longer to see if I should switch, and it seems like it will be too late if I wait too long.

Also, if I switch, how much does it cost to make a motion to take the other attorney off the case?

Attorney Answers 5


  1. I always think it is wise to get second and third opinions, especially in complex cases. When you make an appointment with an attorney state what it is for. You should take a copy of your file in order to get the most reliable opinion.

    973-984-0800. Please be advised my answers to questions does not constitute legal advise and you should not rely on it, due to the fact that we have never met, I have not been aprised of the facts in you case nor have I reviewed any documents.


  2. If you are seeking to switch attorneys prior to having appeared before the Early Settlement Panel there is no need to file a Motion or otherwise incur any significant expenses to switch attorneys. Your current attorney simply executes a Substitution of Attorney (a one page form); the new attorney affixes his/her signature to the same; and the document is filed with the court.

    Any number of experienced family law attorneys would be happy to meet with you and review the facts and circumstances of your case so that you can make a decision regarding whether you wish to switch attorneys.

    Kenneth A. White, Esq.
    732-819-9100

    The Answer provided was based on the limited information provided, and represents information based on the law in general, not a legal opinion that can be relied upon. Before a formal legal opinion can be offered I would need an opportunity to review all possible relevant facts and circumstances. You cannot rely on the advice of an attorney given over the internet. The exact facts of your sitaution, including facts which you have not mentioned in your question, may completely change the opinion that is being offered. Please be aware that the above comments are neither protected by attorney-client privilege, nor may the same be the basis for a malpractice lawsuit.


  3. Yes, you are always entitled to seek a 2nd opinion. Plus, it will help you even if you stay with your current attorney because you will have more confidence in the work that he or she is doing.

    Be mindful that it is difficult for attorneys to review cases with limited information. Make sure that you have all the important papers, letters, pleadings and court orders before you meet with any attorney.

    Please mark as "Helpful" or "Best Answer" if our advice helped you. This information is based upon the limited facts you presented. My advice is based on New Jersey law and may be different if I find that the facts presented are different. Additionally, this answer does not contain any confidential information nor does it create any attorney/client relationship.


  4. As my colleagues have advised, you are free to retain new counsel at any point in your matter. Since you have just had a Case Management Conference, it is unlikley that your trial date is quickly approaching, and therefore changing counsel will be very simple matter. One of the most important considerations in a family law matter is whether you are comfortable with your attorney. I urge you to consult with an experienced Family Law attorney who can discuss all of the specific facts and circumstances involved in your matter, as well as all of your concerns, with you and guide you accordingly. The articles and information located at the link provided below can provide additional helpful information. Best of luck to you!

    The information provided is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. This information is designed for general information only. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your specific situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and emails. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.


  5. The issues that have to be resolved in divorce and custody are complex and need you, and your legal counsel's, total attention. If there is any doubt, you should consult with an experienced attorney who has tried these kind of matters to completion. You can ask for a consultation and bring the materials that you would want to present at trial, as well as the complaint, any orders, and the Case Information Statement. Good luck.
    (908)789-1870

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