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“We are grandparents with custody of our granddaughter, and we will possibly be changing attorneys

Dallas, TX |

“We are grandparents with custody of our granddaughter, and we will possibly be changing attorneys due to a lack of communication on his part. We don't know how else to do this expect just say it, we are quite possibly looking to terminate our relationship with the current attorney (who seems largely disinterested) and obtain an attorney who is knowledgeable, has the experience necessary to help us retain custody of our granddaughter. How do we do this and what should we look for when we are trying to find a new attorney.”

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Attorney answers 4

Posted

Use the find a lawyer tab here and look for someone with experience in family law and guardianships of minors. When talking to them, disclose that you are currently represented and why you are looking for new counsel. Call several and find someone you are comfortable with. When you find someone, they can help you make sure the transition is smooth.

Posted

This post does not say what it is you are trying to accomplish. Use the search function on this site to locate attorneys.

This answer DOES NOT establish an attorney-client relationship. This answer is based on the limited information provided and is not intended to be conclusive advice. There are likely other factors that might influence or change the advice after a more lengthy consultation.

Asker

Posted

My husband and I were granted custody in 2009 as our child and spouse did not want our now 5 yr old granddaughter. While our child lives with us still, the relationship between our child and granddaughter is not a 'parental' one, they exist more as 'siblings' which was our child's choice. The parents are separated (they married in 2006, baby was born in 2008) and the father is now trying to get custody (never has spent time with our granddaughter in 5 years, no support, no contact at all). The father now wants custody, and we feel that we have a good case for abandonment on his behalf, and while we may not be the birth parents , we are and have been her parents in all ways. We don't want to lose her, and as a matter of fact, which we can prove via emails, between the parents and ourselves our intent has been to adopt her which they were both agreeable to. The father is a drunk, is currently living in an adulterious relationship, has been arrest for numerous things . . . DUI, theft, while in the military and in his post military life. What do we want? We want to keep our granddaughter, adopt her, and care for her the way she should be cared for and loved. She is a gift they chose to cast aside and one that we cherish. Bottom line . . . we do not want to lose her.

Posted

I agree with the other attorney. Interview other attorneys first before you fire this one. You say that you have custody, does that mean that you have temporary custody as a result of this lawsuit? Did that attorney win temporary custody for you? When is your trial? Can you afford a new retainer right now? My retainer for this type of case is $4,000. Other attorney's retainers may be more or less. Don't depend just upon retainers by also find out hourly rates. That can make a big difference over time.
There are some really bad inattentive attorneys. I've picked up the pieces after some of them. BUT I have also seen many clients mistake another attorney's inattention for--the case being right where you want it and nothing needs to be done this moment. If your attorney just won you temporary custody, has served the other side with discovery and is awaiting their responses, he is waiting on the results of a social study, there is no trial date or trial is 5-6 months away.....what do you want him to be doing that he isn't? Not doing work when there is work to be done right now is bad lawyering. Fire the bum. Not doing work when it is time to rest, is good common sense, and necessary for your attorney to balance his cases and his life. So before you change horses mid stream try to find out from talking with your attorney which situation this is. Know that in hiring a new attorney you will be spending money to just re-educate that new attorney about your case.

This does not establish an attorney/client relationship

Jaye L. Samuels

Jaye L. Samuels

Posted

These are really excellent points to consider. Not only is sitting back and waiting what should be done to balance clients and work/life, but it also saves a client money--if your attorney is billing hourly, they're tracking time in "point-ones", e.g. tenths of an hour or six minute intervals. 6 minutes or less of my time will cost someone $25--it adds up quickly.

Asker

Posted

When we found out that our child and spouse were giving up our granddaughter, we made the decision to ask for custody and ultimately adopt her. Due to some financial setbacks from losing my job in 2008 we have not been able to do anything about adoption until last year. Also last year the father filed for divorce and custody (he neglected to tell his attorney that WE had sole managing conversatorship and were wanting to adopt her). All this has opened a can of worms in many ways. Our attorney agreed to represent us as well as our child in the divorce case if we did not have any conflicts, our child has agreed to voluntarily terminate parental rights, we feel we have a good case for abandonment as the father has not seen her, support her, etc. He is also living in an adulterous relationship, has been arrested numerous times and essentially skated by. He has another daughter by another woman and has taken little to no interest in her for the past 15 years unless it is convenient for him. Bottom line, we do not want to lose this little girl. She deserves to have a stable home, be loved and cared for as does any child. Our attorney has stated since last April he was sending interrogatories to the father, asking for disclosure of finances and other forms of discovery, yet he has done nothing thus far. We have a contract with him, and we email, phone, etc. and never receive a response. Please don't misunderstand me, we are well aware that he has a family, and other clients, we just want to be kept in the loop and want to know what is going on. We were ordered to mediation by the judge prior to March 18 when we have a court date, however no mediation has been set, and when I have asked for an update . . . I was last told "oh well I guess I need to get that set" and since then nothing.

Dorothea Elaine Laster

Dorothea Elaine Laster

Posted

Sounds like you need a new lawyer. Lucky for you there are an abundance of lawyers here that would be delighted to take your case, myself included. Start interviewing.

Posted

Start by looking at client and attorney reviews here on Avvo, it is the best source for that anywhere. If the attorney has happy clients and is respected by his peers, then you are likely to be happy with him/her.

Also be sure to interview several attorneys. See how they respond to you, how quickly, how intelligently, how professionally. Look at their website. Ask about their experiences in your specific type of case.

It is really hard to figure out which attorney is the best, but it is well worth the investigation.

This information is not legal advice and does not form an attorney-client relationship.

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