Changing Counsel Mid-Way: When to Get New Counsel in Your Indiana Family Law Case

Changing Counsel Mid-Way: When to Get New Counsel in Your Indiana Family Law Case

Going through a divorce or child custody battle is one of the most stressful and emotionally draining experiences a person can face. Having the right family law attorney by your side is crucial for protecting your rights and interests. However, there may come a time when you lose confidence in your current lawyer and feel the need to make a change. This blog will discuss considerations on when it might be appropriate to seek new counsel in an Indiana family law matter. 

If your lawyer is unresponsive, fails to return calls and emails, or does not keep you updated, it may be time to explore other options. Communication is a key factor in an attorney-client relationship considering some family law matters can be complex and lengthy. While some friction is inevitable in adversarial legal proceedings, if you have lost all trust and ability to work cooperatively with your counsel, it could justify switching lawyers. Again, the length of some family proceedings can positively or negatively impact the attorney-client relationship. An attorney who shows up to hearings unprepared or does not have a firm grasp of the facts and legal issues is putting your case at risk. Any evidence of unethical behavior, such as mishandling client funds or dishonesty, is an immediate red flag that warrants finding new representation.

If you do decide to change attorneys, there are proper protocols to follow in Indiana. First, the attorney-client relationship must be terminated. Provide written notice to your current lawyer about terminating representation and ensure all fees owed are paid. Additionally, obtain your case file from your attorney because your file will assist your new attorney in the initial process of learning about your matter. When you hire your new attorney, you will need to file a form with the court notifying substitution of attorney. In addition to notifying the court, provide advanced notification to the opposing party and counsel of the forthcoming change. 

With a change of counsel, your new lawyer will likely need additional time to get up to speed on the case details and develop a strategy. As such, it is typical to file a motion requesting continuance, or postponement, of any upcoming court dates or deadlines. Properly notifying the court and other parties is essential when asking for a continuance related to changing attorneys. Making a switch in legal representation mid-case is not ideal, but sometimes it is necessary to protect your rights and interests. If you find yourself losing faith in your current family law attorney in Indiana, do not be afraid to explore new options. 

Having the right lawyer is paramount in high-stakes family law matters. With strong new counsel by your side, you can proceed with confidence that your case is in capable hands. Just be sure to follow proper protocol in terms of notification and requesting any required continuance from the court. The attorneys at Ciyou & Associates, P.C. have extensive experience in taking on family law matters mid-case in Indiana. This blog was written by attorneys at Ciyou & Associates, P.C., and this blog is not intended as specific legal advice or solicitation of services as this is an advertisement.


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