5 Signs Your Attorney Is NOT Doing a Good Job

we were listening to divorcing your

money show the number one podcast that

discusses the complex business of


I'm your host Sean Lehman MBA and

certified divorce financial analyst you

can visit us at divorce and your money

dot-com in this episode I want to

discuss five signs that your attorney is

not doing a good job for you and when

you listen to these signs you should

think really long and hard about ways to

improve the relationship with your

attorney or in the extreme case if you

need to make a change changing attorneys

is not at the top of my list but

hopefully you can find workarounds to

deal with some of these issues like no

attorneys perfect attorneys are humans

too and sometimes I end up having a deal

with some pretty poor attorneys

particularly if you just unfortunately

picked the wrong one for your situation

they could end up doing a lot of harm

and I want to make sure that you avoid

some of the issues that I'm going to

bring up in here now there's also a lot

of great attorneys and if you have one

that you really like and get along with

and are getting good results then more

power to you but I want to talk about

the downside and and some behavior that

I consider unacceptable from a potential

attorney Lou this is one of the toughest

periods of your life and your attorney

is likely the quarterback of this

situation to borrow a term from a

football so I want you to watch out for

these five things I'm gonna dig into

each one of them in depth the first is

your attorney doesn't return phone calls

or emails second your attorney doesn't

tell you what's going on third is your

attorney bills irregularly fourth is

your attorney is not prepared for

important dates and fifth is your

attorney does not advocate for you let's

jump in to each of these just to give

you a little bit of a taste and some

signs you should be watching out for the

first is one of my biggest pet peeves of

all and one of the biggest frustrations

and that's number one when your attorney

not return your phone calls or emails in

a timely fashion sometimes after you pay

the retainer your attorney will

disappear or be really slow to respond

I know people who call their attorney

every other day for two weeks before

they get a two second response back

about an important issue and that's

unacceptable your attorney should be

responding to you ideally within a few

hours and if they're in court for that

day or something's going on within 24

hours at the absolute latest unless of

course they're on vacation but roast the

time even then they should be returning

your emails this is your life at stake

and one of the biggest and toughest

times of your life and so you need

someone to respond to your inquiries the

second is your attorney doesn't tell you

what's going on this one's pretty simple

well if your attorney is not telling you

what's going on in your case if they

received correspondence from your

spouse's attorney or from your spouse

directly and they don't forward that

along to you in terms of what was said

or what's going on or if a court date

was set or not said if you're waiting on

something your attorney should be

keeping you updated on all of these

things at a minimum on a weekly basis if

there's something that you should be

expecting and sometimes on a daily basis

if there's things going on very soon or

coming up very soon number three is your

attorney bills irregularly after you pay

the retainer you know some of you is

going to be $3,000 $5,000 $10,000 and

sometimes more you should start

receiving regular bills from your

attorney indicating how much of that

retainer you have used and how they used

that time on the retainer so you should

be getting every few weeks a statement

that says hey there was an hour and a

half spent at $400 an hour so you spent

$600 of your $5,000 retainer on these

different items and they should make

sense to you

you shouldn't go by where you know a

month goes by or two months goes by and

all of a sudden you get a bill that says

oh not only have we used all of your

retainer but also you owe us an extra

500 bucks for these services that


and completed so if your attorney is

billing irregularly or there's things

that are funny about the bill you need

to bring those up as soon as possible

number four is your attorney needs to be

prepared if there is a big deadline or

appointment coming up meaning if you're

about to enter mediation if you're about

to go to court if you're about to walk

into a room for a settlement negotiation

your attorney better be prepared about

all the facts on your case what you

should be expecting what they're going

to be fighting for and what's less

important all of these things should be

essential I know attorneys and I've seen

this and it's crazy to me it's

mind-blowing I had a custom I recently

who was preparing for mediation and the

attorney who was a new attorney to this

person's case wanted to show up one hour

before the mediation to do all the

preparation for that mediation session

this was their first appointment

together in general and they had just

started handling the case and they

thought that one hour was enough to not

only just learn the facts of the case

but also to prepare for a productive

mediation session in which all the

issues in the divorce could be resolved

and this person clearly had not done

their homework and my client was of

course very scared but fortunately we

were able on our sessions to prepare in

advance for a lot of those issues

meaning with the two of us without the

attorney prepared a lot of research and

data and helped this person prepare for

the mediation session so even though

their attorney didn't know much you in

this case knew a lot and was able to

have a very productive session and

things worked out well but you want your

attorney to know what's going on and

seem prepared in the room wherever you

are and and to be prepared for your case

this is your life and these types of

lapses are not acceptable and in the

fifth is when your attorney doesn't

advocate for you understand this is you

are paying your attorney

a lot of money to resolve one of the

toughest times in your life and because

you're paying this attorney they are

supposed to fight for what is in your

best interest

sometimes attorneys just don't advocate

for you or you feel like they're not

advocating for you or it could be the

case that they might be intimidated by

your spouse's attorney for instance none

of these are acceptable situations for

your divorce you want to make sure that

your attorney is fighting to get you the

best deal possible I don't when I say

fighting I don't necessarily mean

creating unnecessary conflict but they

should be advocating for you to get the

best deal possible because once you sign

those settlement papers you are going to

be done with it and if you haven't

gotten as much as you can during this

process you are going to end up

regretting things for the rest of your

life so I want you to watch out for

those five things the first is your

attorney doesn't return phone calls or

emails a second is your attorney doesn't

tell you what's going on third is your

attorney bills irregularly fourth is

your attorney is not prepared and

finally fifth is your attorney doesn't

advocate for you don't let this happen

to you fees are very important things

that your attorney should be on top of

and this is your life at stake not my

life not your friend's life not your

attorneys life this is your life and

your divorce and so if you're not

prepared and you're not understanding

what's going on you can end up in a very

bad situation for the future if you

don't take care of some of these issues

today now before you go I want to make

sure you get some really important

information all you have to do is go to

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page at divorce in your money calm you

can learn about our personalized

coaching services and here's the reality

many of you are making financial

mistakes or not getting all that you

deserve as part of the divorce process

or maybe you're just having a hard time

making sense of it all and making

rational decisions during this emotional

time and look your divorce attorney is

good it's great to have a divorce

attorney but divorce attorneys are not

really financial experts and so ask

yourself a simple question did your

attorney if you have one explain some of

the details that we just talked about in

this episode the financial issues in

divorce can be really complicated that's

why there's over a hundred episodes of

information hours and hours and hours of

information just related to the complex

financial things that you need to be

thinking about as you get divorced and

one of the big questions you might have

if you've been listening to the podcast

or read the book divorce in your money

the no nonsense guide or have been

reading the articles that I send just to

the email listeners you might be asking

well how does this apply to me how does

this apply to my situation and my

divorce and what's going on in my life

well the only way to really find out and

the only way I can help you in your

specific situation is through the

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discover this show I'm your host Sean

Lehmann MBA and certified divorce

financial analyst thank you for