Can I Change Divorce Lawyer During Divorce Proceedings? Understanding Your Options — Ribet Myles (2024)

Written By Ribet Myles

Edited by Alistair Myles - Partner

With over 15 years of specialist family law experience, Alistair works on complex financial remedy cases often involving assets in different jurisdictions and complicated trust structures. Alistair has worked on many reported cases over recent years.

Can I Change Divorce Lawyer During Divorce Proceedings? Understanding Your Options — Ribet Myles (1)

Yes, you are absolutely within your rights to change your lawyer part way through a divorce. Before you do so, however, there are a number of issues to take into consideration – this article explains what you need to be aware of, some of the potential pitfalls and how you can change solicitor if you feel it is the right course of action..

It is essential you have a good relationship with your legal team: you should feel fully understood, supported and well represented by your divorce solicitor. If you feel uneasy about how your case is being handled, remember that you can get a second opinion or even change solicitors. This decision can be pivotal to your peace of mind and the success of your legal proceedings. In the following sections, we'll explore the common reasons for changing lawyers during a divorce, how to assess your current lawyer's performance, and the steps to take if you decide a change is necessary. This guide aims to empower you with the knowledge and tools to ensure that your legal representation aligns with your needs and values.

Common Reasons For Changing Your Divorce Lawyer

  • Confidence in your lawyer's abilities and integrity is fundamental to any successful legal relationship, especially during the emotionally charged process of a divorce. If you begin to doubt your lawyer's competence, commitment, or honesty—whether due to mishandling parts of your case, failing to follow through on commitments, or making errors that jeopardise your position—it may be time to consider changing lawyers. Not all divorce lawyers are the same.

  • Effective communication is the backbone of a successful solicitor-client relationship. If you're experiencing delays in responses, receiving unclear explanations, or facing a general lack of communication, it might be a sign that your lawyer isn't giving your case the attention it deserves. These issues can lead to misunderstandings and could potentially harm the outcome of your divorce proceedings.

  • A divergence in opinions about how to handle your divorce can be a significant issue. It's essential that you and your lawyer are aligned on the strategy, as this forms the basis of how your case is presented and negotiated. If there's a fundamental disagreement that can't be resolved through discussions, it might be time to consider finding a lawyer whose strategic approach more closely matches your own preferences and goals.

  • Discovering that your lawyer may not have the necessary expertise or experience to handle specific complexities of your case can be a strong reason to seek a change. Divorce law can be complex, requiring specialised knowledge about family law and experience with similar cases. If your lawyer lacks this background, it could disadvantage your position and affect the settlement. Recognising the importance of having expert divorce solicitors is crucial, especially when dealing with intricate issues like childcare arrangements and financial settlements, to ensure you receive the proper advice, direction, and strategy for your case.

  • The relationship with your lawyer should be built on trust and mutual respect. If there's a personality clash, or if you find that your values and approaches to the divorce are vastly different, it can make the already stressful process of divorce even more challenging. Compatibility with your lawyer is crucial to ensure that you feel comfortable with how they represent you and your interests.

  • Financial clarity is crucial in any legal representation. If there are ongoing disagreements over billing, or if the overall costs of your representation exceed initial estimates without a clear and justified reason, it might be time to consider a change. Unexpected legal fees can add financial stress and may indicate a lack of transparency or mismanagement on the part of your lawyer.

“If you want a top-class divorce team, who get things done as quickly as possible and are always on call in a crisis - then this is the law firm and team for you. They are excellent value for money also - worth noting as a huge USP is their pricing in the market - it is very fair.”
Kevin Tewis - Client testimonial

Can I Change Divorce Lawyer During Divorce Proceedings? Understanding Your Options — Ribet Myles (2)

How to Assess Your Family Lawyer

Review Your Case Progress

To effectively assess your family lawyer, start by evaluating the progress of your case. Look at how your case has been handled, note any milestones achieved, and consider the outcomes of any court proceedings or negotiations.

Some of the questions to consider are:

· Do you feel fully heard and understood by your family lawyer?

· Have deadlines been met consistently?

· Is your case moving forward in a timely manner?

· How effectively is your lawyer is advocating on your behalf?

A lack of tangible progress or a series of setbacks might indicate it's time to reconsider your choice of attorney.

  • If you're unsure about the quality of representation you're receiving, seeking a second opinion can provide clarity and reassurance. Consult with another lawyer to review the strategies employed in your case and the advice given by your current lawyer. This can shed light on whether your case is being managed appropriately or if there might be alternative strategies that could yield better outcomes. A second opinion can help validate your concerns and inform your decision on whether to continue with your current lawyer.

  • Reflecting on the communication style and responsiveness of your current lawyer is crucial. Consider how promptly your inquiries are answered, whether you receive updates regularly, and if your lawyer is clear and thorough in explaining the aspects of your case. Good communication not only keeps you informed but also involves you in decision-making processes, ensuring that your voice is heard. If you frequently feel out of the loop or if interactions with your lawyer leave you confused, frustrated or uneasy, it may be a sign that your communication needs are not being adequately met.

“Ribet Myles have provided an exceptional service in helping me to reach my divorce settlement. From the top to the bottom, they have been a friendly but extremely professional company and have given me much needed guidance and reassurance throughout this stressful process.”
Dermot Jones - Client testimonial

Can I Change Divorce Lawyer During Divorce Proceedings? Understanding Your Options — Ribet Myles (3)

How To Change Your Family Lawyers

  • When considering changing your divorce lawyer, the first step is to interview potential new lawyers who better align with your needs and expectations. Look for lawyers who specialise in your type of case and who demonstrate a clear understanding of your goals and preferences. For example if you have specific concerns about your financial settlement or child arrangements ask them about their experience in these areas.

    Prepare a list of questions that address your concerns with your current representation and discuss these issues to gauge how the new lawyer would handle them differently. This will help ensure that the new lawyer you choose is a better fit and can effectively advocate on your behalf.

  • Before making any changes, review any contractual obligations you might have with your current lawyer. This includes understanding any obligations regarding the termination of services, any fees that might be due upon early termination, and expenses or outstanding bills. Being aware of the financial implications of changing lawyers can help avoid any complications during the transition.

    In most cases you would need to discharge any outstanding invoices before your current solicitors will release their file to your new solicitor.

  • Once you have decided to change solicitors and have decided on who you would like to instruct, you should write to your current solicitor to inform them of your decision. This notification should be done in writing and should clearly state your intention to terminate their services. It's also courteous to thank them for their services and explain, if comfortable, why you are making the change. This formal notification helps maintain professionalism and ensures a clear record of your decision.

  • Arrange for the transfer of all your case files, documents, and any other relevant materials from your current lawyer to your new lawyer. It is important that your new lawyer has all the necessary information to continue your case without any delays. Your new lawyer can often assist with this process, ensuring they receive everything they need to effectively take over your representation.

  • If your legal proceedings are already underway, it's essential to inform the court of the change in your legal representation. This would involve your new solicitors filing a notice of change with the court. Your new lawyer can handle this process, which ensures that all future correspondence and court documents are directed to them. Notifying the court promptly helps avoid any misunderstandings or administrative issues during the legal proceedings.

What To Look For In A Divorce Solicitor

When seeking a divorce solicitor, it's crucial to find a firm that is the right fit for your needs, especially when dealing with complex divorce cases. These cases may involve international elements, significant assets, and pre-nuptial agreements, necessitating a choice of a solicitor who specialises in these areas. The right legal partner can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.

  • It's essential to have a solicitor who is not just a general practitioner but one who specialises in family law. They should have a track record of handling divorce cases like yours. Having family law experts on your side is invaluable, especially when it comes to making legal arguments and advising on disputing divorce applications. This expertise ensures that your legal rights are protected and that you are guided through the process with the highest level of professional advice.

  • When looking for a new lawyer, it's important to consider their specialisation in areas specifically relevant to your case. If your divorce involves complex elements involving foreign jurisdictions or significant financial considerations like high-net-worth assets, choosing a lawyer with expertise in these areas is essential. A lawyer who specialises in your particular needs will have a deeper understanding of the applicable laws and a wealth of experience in handling similar cases, which can lead to more favourable outcomes for you.

  • The communication style of your lawyer plays a significant role in your comfort and confidence throughout the divorce process. Look for a lawyer whose communication approach is clear, timely, and aligns with your preferences. Whether you prefer detailed written updates or succinct verbal briefings, the right lawyer will make you feel informed and involved at every step. Effective communication can greatly reduce the stress associated with divorce proceedings and help ensure that your needs and concerns are properly addressed.

  • Before settling on a new lawyer, consider their reputation through reviews and recommendations from previous clients. Client testimonials can provide insights into the lawyer’s effectiveness, reliability, and client service. Additionally, you may want to ask for references or check online review platforms and legal directories for feedback. Recommendations from individuals who have experienced similar legal challenges can be particularly valuable, as they will give you an idea of the lawyer’s approach and effectiveness.

  • Transparency in billing practices and costs is another critical factor to consider when selecting a new lawyer. A trustworthy lawyer will be upfront about their fee structure, including how they bill for their time (e.g., hourly or flat fees), what expenses you might expect, and how frequently you will be billed. They should also provide clear, written estimates and agreements to avoid any surprises. Understanding the cost implications upfront will help you manage your finances effectively during the divorce process and ensure that the legal services provided align with your budget and expectations.

“I am so pleased I was introduced to Alistair Myles at Ribet Myles. The team have been amazing, with all the emotional upset of going through my divorce, Alistair and his team have always acted in a professional manner with the added bonus of being completely on top of everything with care and compassion. Very knowledgeable and always knowing the best way to move forward bringing my divorce to an end."
Christina Baccarini – Client Testimonial


The importance of having the right family lawyers during a divorce cannot be overstated. An adept lawyer not only guides you through the complexities of divorce law but also advocates for your best interests, ensuring that you are treated fairly and that your rights are protected.

Effective legal support can significantly influence the outcome of your divorce, impacting everything from financial settlements to child custody arrangements. If at any point you feel that your current legal representation is not meeting your needs, it is crucial to consider making a change. Doing so can dramatically improve your chances of achieving a favourable outcome in your divorce proceedings.

“I can hand on heart highly recommend Julian and his team. They supported me for several very challenging years during my divorce, delivering far more than the required legal protocols. They have the skills, experience, professionalism, and compassion. With the understanding that decisions are often emotive when dealing with the wellbeing of children and for me ensuring that was paramount above all else.”
Paul Rothwell – Client Testimonial

Can I Change Divorce Lawyer During Divorce Proceedings? Understanding Your Options — Ribet Myles (4)

Ribet Myles is an experienced family law firm with years of experience in helping clients achieve a satisfactory and fair outcome from their divorce. Our award winning team of experienced family lawyers in specialise in high net worth divorce, where there are complex financial issues, significant assets or disputes over child arrangements. We have recently been recognised as Financial Remedies Team of the year at the prestigious Family law Awards 2023.

If you are frustrated with your current divorce solicitor and considering changing family solicitors, call us on 020 7242 6000 for expert advice.

Ribet Myles

Can I Change Divorce Lawyer During Divorce Proceedings? Understanding Your Options — Ribet Myles (2024)
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