If I paid my lawyer a year ago to do my divorce and she still hasn’t filed the papers, can I fire her and get my money back to go elsewhere?

Asked on October 8, 2011 under Family Law, Ohio


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for you.  It is questions like this that make me cringe as an attorney.  You have the right  to fire your attorney - called discharging the attorney - at any time.  And you have the right to request that she give you an accounting of the money that she has used of the retainer and to dispute the matter if necessary.  Any unused portion should be returned to you as well.  It may be best for you to interview new attorneys and find one that you like.  Once you retain a new attorney then the new attorney will have you execute a consent to change attorney form and request the file and an accounting as well.  The old attorney will claim to have a line on the file  - maybe; depends if retainer was allegedly used up - and again, you will have your right to dispute the matter.  Good luck.

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