You hate to admit it, but it's just not working out. In spite of the honors by the state bar association and glowing references from previous clients, you and your attorney are just not meant to be. The problem is, you're smack in the middle of your divorce, which seems like a bad time for any major changes. If you're like most divorce litigants, your biggest fear is whether a change of counsel looks bad to the judge. This is understandable, since any selfish or irresponsible action throughout the course of your divorce – especially ones that inconvenience the court – may cause you to lose credibility with the judge.
Before we address how this looks to the judge, the more important thing to understand is that you may or may not be allowed to change attorneys mid-trial. The judge would have to consider how far along you are in the trial process, and how this effects the court's calendar. Still, judges are aware that clients sometimes end up with attorneys who are unable or unwilling to give them effective counsel. In that case, it would be highly improper to force that client to proceed with inadequate representation. So, as long you can clearly demonstrate a valid reason, judges will allow you to change attorneys more often than not.
Now, if your reasons are strictly based on personality clashes, or maybe you just don't like what you're lawyer is telling you, that's not as likely to win over the judge. Lawyers have their individual approaches, and you may find yourself being annoyed at the way your attorney handles particular situations. However, if his methods are getting you one step further in the right direction, even if it's not the route you would take, then the judge may require you to continue with that attorney. On the other hand, if your attorney's advice or attitude resulted in failed negotiations or further litigation when you were ready to settle, that's something you may want to bring up to the judge.
The best way to decide whether or not to move onto another attorney is to get a second opinion from a fellow divorce attorney. Many clients do this behind their attorney's back because they are afraid of offending them, but it's actually better to let them know ahead of time. Good attorneys will be fine with their clients speaking to someone else because this is, after all, more than a simple legal action. A divorce has direct, long-term effects on one's life, not to mention, on the lives of one's children. Hence, they will want you to be absolutely sure about your decisions, and the representative who counsels you on those decisions. If you're thinking about changing attorneys, or maybe just want to verify the advice you're currently receiving, please consider speaking with the attorneys of Villani & DeLuca, P.C. They will be happy to address all your concerns during a free initial consultation.