Divorces are an emotional and exhausting process. You are overwhelmed and trying to navigate a complicated process that affects your future. Naturally, you rely upon your attorney’s advice as the expert to support your interests, and ensure that you end up with the best possible settlement.
However, something may feel off during the divorce proceedings. You may wonder whether your attorney is really acting in your best interest, or if they have they done everything that they can to get you the best settlement offer. If so, it is possible that your attorney is involved in legal malpractice. Do you know when you should challenge your divorce lawyer for legal malpractice?
When is it considered legal malpractice?
Disagreeing with your attorney’s practices, or being unhappy with your divorce settlement, are not grounds for legal malpractice. To be considered legal malpractice:
- Your lawyer’s actions must cause you economic harm
- Your lawyer must be negligent or involved in illegal practices
What are some signs of malpractice?
Consider the possibility of legal malpractice if your lawyer:
- Fails to communicate with you despite numerous attempts to reach them
- Lies to you or misleads you
- Appears to misuse your money
- Fails to adequately evaluate matters surrounding your divorce – including marital property for division, possible hidden assets or small business division
- Fails to submit court orders or documents on time – failure to do so could prevent you from collecting child support or spousal maintenance fees
What should you do if you think that your attorney is involved in malpractice?
Try discussing the problem with your attorney. Explain your expectations for their work, and ask questions about aspects of the case that you have a problem with. Your worries could result from a lack of communication or a misunderstanding of your lawyer’s actions.
If a conversation with your attorney fails to clear up your concerns, consider contacting a lawyer who can evaluate your current attorney’s actions. A second lawyer can evaluate whether you have grounds to sue for legal malpractice, and what you could expect to gain from filing a suit. Divorces are stressful enough without worrying about your lawyer’s actions. Take control of the situation, and know that others are available to help during this difficult time.