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I must represent myself in concluding divorce case and drop attorney, his fees and lack of resolution literally makes me ill.

Petaluma, CA |

Where/how do I drop attorney & represent myself?

Attorney Answers 3


You have a perfect right to discharge your attorney any time for any reason or no reason. That said, it's usually a really bad idea to proceed without a lawyer. A lawyer you don't like is almost always better than no lawyer at all. Many of the worst problems lawyers are asked to solve are caused by people who try to deal with legal problems without representation. Divorce is no exception. Disputes among people who are angry tend to run up big legal fees because settlement is difficult and requires compromise which the parties see as surrender. People involved in divorces are almost always so emotional, angry and stressed out that their judgment is impaired. That's all the more reason they need lawyers. Sometimes in a divorce what the client perceives as lack of resolution is actually wisdom and appropriate caution on the part of the lawyer. Think about it.

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I agree it's best to proceed with an attorney on your side. Is there a way you can get another attorney before you drop this one, so you are not representing yourself? I agree that divorces can get very expensive, especially if it is a bitter fight. If you are questioning this attorney's fees you can file a fee dipute arbitration through the state bar. However, if the attorney did the work he or she billed for, you are not likley to win. Good luck to you.

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You contact your attorney and advise you no longer wish his/her services. The procedure is as simple as signing a substitution of attorney form which your attorney will prepare for your signature. Once signed by each of you the form is served and filed with the court.

I am licensed in California only and my answers on Avvo assume California law. Answers provided by me are for general information only. They are not legal advice. Answers must not be relied upon. Legal advice must be based on the interplay between specific exact facts and the law. This forum does not allow for the discussion of that interplay. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if that interplay were explored during an attorney-client relationship. I provide legal advice during the course of an attorney-client relationship only. The exchange of information through this forum does not establish such a relationship. That relationship is established only by personal and direct consultation with me followed by the execution of a written attorney-client agreement signed by each of us. The communications on this website are not privileged or confidential and I assume no duty to anyone by my participation on Avvo or because I have answered or commented on a question. All legal proceedings involve deadlines and time limiting statutes. So that legal rights are not lost for failure to timely take appropriate action and because I do not provide legal advice in answer to any question, if you are an interested party you should promptly and personally consult with an attorney for legal advice. Also, see Avvo's terms and conditions of use, specifically item 9, incorporated by this reference

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