When Is It Too Late To Change Family Lawyers?
Posted: 16th July 2019
Posted in: News
Posted by: Fiona Browne, Associate
As a client, it is your right to be represented by a Family lawyer of your choice. If you have engaged a Family Lawyer, but have doubts about whether they are the right fit for you or whether their performance is meeting your needs, it is your right to change Family Lawyers or consider changing your legal representation to another Family Lawyer at any time.
When is it too late to change Family Lawyers? The answer is that it is never too late. Obviously, there are some practical issues that may make change difficult. Changing your Family Lawyer on the first day of your final hearing is not ideal. It is not uncommon though, for family law clients to seek new legal representation in the weeks leading up to a final hearing.
If your matter is one of the relatively few property or parenting matter that must go to final hearing due to an inability to resolve the matter amicably, it is imperative that you have experienced and competent Family Lawyers acting on your behalf.
The legal industry is a professional service industry. Like all service industries, clients need to have their needs met by their Family Lawyers. A common issue raised when clients seek a second opinion from Evans Brandon Family Lawyers is the lack of communication. Family law clients often feel that their former Family Lawyers have failed to communicate adequately. Family law clients have felt excluded from the family law process and don’t feel that they are in control or are being heard.
Family Lawyers must maintain a high level of communication with their family law clients. This provides the client with a high level of understanding of the process and ensures that they feel that their interests are being recognised and met. Without adequate communication, between a Family Lawyer and their client, clients often feel that they are not being heard and their needs and concerns are not being met. This then leads to the family law client changing their Family Lawyer.
Your Family Lawyer plays a vital role in achieving the case outcome you want. If you have doubts or concerns about how your case is handled, you might consider changing your Family Lawyer.
When to Change Family Lawyers
Pre-Case Filing/ Negotiations/Trial
Here are some indicators that indicate you may need to consider changing Family Lawyers or at least seeking a second opinion before Court proceedings in your case are filed:
- Disinterest in your Case – Your Family Lawyer provides you with insufficient answers to your queries, fails to provide essential details or is reluctant to provide explanations when sought as to the family law process.
- Lack of Focus – Your Family Lawyer forgets details about your case and makes you feel like a number.
- Disregard for what you want – You feel pushed to agree on an outcome that your Family Lawyer thinks is appropriate but in no way meets your needs or those of the children. You feel that your concerns have not been heard.
- Lack of Communication – Your Family Lawyer fails to answer your emails or return your phone calls.
Post-Case Filing / Negotiations/Trial
Common concerns or red flags raised by clients who meet with us after their court proceedings are filed but before the final hearing and wish to change Family Lawyers are:
- Stalled negotiations – Despite having spent time and significant sums of money, you’re no closer to a resolution. Negotiations have come to a halt without your solicitor providing you with an explanation.
- Different Lawyers at conferences and court hearings – Your Family Lawyer should be the one representing you during the conduct of your matter or court proceedings. There are too many instances of different Family Lawyers turning up to the Family Court on hearing dates. You are having to repeat your story and case details to a new Family Lawyer at each event and lack confidence that your matter is being given adequate attention and priority.
- Inability to provide a well-thought-out strategy – A Family Lawyer’s role is to create a plan that will benefit you and serve your best interests. Your Family Lawyer should present you with a strategy on how the case will be handled, and explain the reasons they have selected this approach. There should be a consistent approach throughout your matter.
- Pushing through with a strategy that you disagree with – Your Family Lawyer should always consider what you have to say about your case. If you disagree with the proposed approach, have an open conversation with your Family Lawyer. If your wishes are repeatedly dismissed or disregarded, it is time to change Family Lawyers.
- Failure to be upfront or realistic about their fee – Family Lawyers need to be paid for their services. You should be provided with regular updates as to your costs. Your Family Lawyer should also be commercially minded and be upfront with you when the outcome you are seeking is not cost-effective.
The process of changing Family Lawyers is relatively straightforward.
If you are unhappy with how your family law case is progressing, and you wish to change Family Lawyers or seek a second opinion, Evans Brandon Family Lawyers is happy to assist. A change may be necessary to put your case back on track. If it is in your interests to remain with you current Family Lawyer, we will also tell you if we think that your Family Lawyer is acting in your best interests and it would be preferable for you to continue with your current Family Lawyer.
We are the leading Gold Coast Family Law specialists. Our committed team of Family Lawyers will work with you to achieve the best outcome by providing a strategic and decisive plan for your Family Law matter.