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During my collaborative divorce, I am unhappy with my attorney. Can I change counsel and keep the process?

Chicago, IL |

I am not prepared for any team meetings. I do not feel my attorney works well with me.
Can I change midway through? If so, what are the ramifications? At this point
I am not sure what he is doing for me, except continuously stating he is neutral. I am not
prepared, while my ex husband appears prepped for all meetings. help

Attorney Answers 4


  1. You can always change attorneys. If you hire an experienced attorney, s/he should be able to come in without too much disruption t your case. Find a lawyer in whom you have more confidence. Make sure your new lawyer is trained in collaborative divorce or if you are also unhappy with the collaborative process, you can insist that your case proceed in the more traditional manner. Many attorneys are not fond of the collaborative process except in very distinct circumstances.


  2. Atty. Goldstein has given an excellent answer. I only add that it would be wise to meet with your current attorney and explain your feelings. A collaborative process is an effort to achieve a win win outcome.
    All parties should be working together toward that result with hopefully no hidden agenda or unfair advantage.

    The information provided here should not be construed to be formal legal advice. The provision of this general advice does not create a lawyer-client relationship. Persons with legal questions are encouraged to seek independent counsel for advice regarding their individual legal issues.


  3. I read the comments to Judy's answer and had to chuckle (no offense): you say you're being bullied in a collaborative process. There's nothing funny about the bullying, and nothing funny about divorce -- you're probably looking at some of the biggest decision you'll make in your life. I think you'll agree, however, that the irony of a bullying collaborator is pretty significant.

    You can always (ALWAYS) change attorneys.

    Judy's right: your case really isn't cut out for to collaborative process -- that, or it's being handled very, very poorly.

    Talk with a few attorneys by phone. Most offer free consultations.
    Wes Cowell
    312-987-9999


  4. I am not a big believer in collaborative divorce. It can be used successfully in very few cases with multiple issues that are all very interrelated. I suggest you consider hiring new counsel .

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