Do divorce laws allow a divorce attorney to withdraw from your case at any time?
I’ve had a lawyer representing me for two years and suddenly he filed with the court a plea to withdraw as my attorney. I do owe him some money, but not a significant amount and I’ve already poured thousands of dollars into this case.
I don’t have money for another divorce lawyer and I know representing myself pro se is not the best idea.
Will the judge allow my attorney to just walk away after all the attorney fees I paid and right in the middle of my case?
I am only licensed to practice law in Illinois so I cannot offer legal advice on divorce on the laws in other states. However, I can provide you with a general overview regarding what your options are when you are unsatisfied with your attorney’s representation.
Your retainer agreement most likely contains a provision that your attorney has the right to withdraw from your case for nonpayment.
However, unless you consent to the withdrawal, the attorney must obtain the court’s permission before withdrawing from your case.
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The attorney will need to file a motion and have a hearing on the issue of withdrawal. You may be present at the hearing to advise the judge as to your objection to the withdrawal and the judge will then decide whether to allow the attorney to withdraw from your case.
The attorney’s request to withdraw may be denied by the court if the granting of it would delay the trial of the case, or would otherwise be inequitable.
I understand that a divorce can be an expensive and stressful process, and that a judge’s ruling may not always seem fair. If your attorney is granted permission to withdraw from your case, you should contact a qualified domestic litigation firm, such as Cordell & Cordell, to review what has been done in your case thus far, and determine what needs to be done going forward.