Sunday, May 3, 2009

Divorce Client Frustrations with Attorneys

With the current recession and increased stresses involved with divorce and family law cases, I am curious as to what the average person's complaint with how attorneys are dealing with their concerns. What can attorneys do to help clients cope? What are the biggest complaints when dealing with attorneys in divorce and family law cases? I am seeking constructive criticism?


  1. I could go on and on with complaints about my attorney. I gave her every last dime I had, and had no way of switching attorneys by the time I realized how useless she was. Let me point out some of the highlights. I asked her several times to make settlement offers. I would call over and over with no response trying her to do this for weeks on end. I received a hand written settlement offer, and was very interested so I called to ask her advice and see if we could take the offer. After 6 weeks of unreturned phone calls, I figured it was already too late to accept the offer. She didn't show up at mediation and only called me a couple of hours in advance to let me know she wouldn't be able to make it. She couldn't remember my case. I don't mean details here, but the major facts of the case such as, "Did you cheat? Did he?" She showed up at trial completely unprepared and kept asking me if we covered everything. Instead of allowing all my witnesses to speak, she wanted to hurry up and get through our side in just over an hour because the other side took up all the time & she didn't want to have to come the next day. We had to prepare for trial 3 times because first my ex and then his attorney got sick and we couldn't proceed on the scheduled days. I had to pay all the fees for that. She tried to submit some sealed envelope to the judge at the end asking for help with attorney fees, but it was not the proper procedure so he would not allow it. During one meeting with her, her secretary brought my financial declaration to us 3 times with the numbers not adding up. So, I went in to help the secretary only to find her using an Excel spreadsheet with a calculator by her side to add the numbers. I gave her a lesson in Excel and taught her how to use the SUM function. This is something my 6th grader can do. Complete incompetence from beginning to end. Then, because the opposing attorney did know how to do her job, I was stuck with over $10K in attorney fees from the other side. Why? Mostly because it appeared that even though the opposing side made plenty of attempts to settle this without it going to court, I appeared to have been stubborn and uncooperative when I just couldn't get her to answer my calls or put any effort into my case. To me, the family court system in Horry County is a complete joke. I have been told by other attorneys that I do have cause to file a complaint, but after the exhausting experience I have already endured I just can't bring myself to do it. It is ridiculous that I paid more in attorney fees than I received in settlement. I would have literally been better off giving everything to my ex and walking away. If attorneys are too busy or unable to put in the time & effort required to give quality service to their clients, then they need to cut down on the number of clients they take on. I thought one of the major perks in this country was supposed to be that everyone was entitled to access to an unbiased judicial system. Unfortunately when it comes to the Horry County Family Court that is completely untrue. Not only does stuff like this happen, but even if you and your ex agree on everything completely without exception you cannot get a divorce without using an attorney. It is simply too complicated, and that is simply a shame (well, unless you're an attorney).

  2. Most of the complaint we have regarding our attorneys involves their determination to get paid lots and lots of money. Sometimes, former couples do separate in an amicable way and sometimes they separate agreeing about certain things. But when the legal process begins, and when attorneys from both sides are involved, it is when things start getting bitter and hostile between both parties. Why? Because some attorneys paint the opposing parties in really bad light. They do their best to paint a really bad picture of the other spouse, just so the other spouse would lose and would have to pay the fees for their client. Really, this is what I have notices. When lawyers get into the picture, everything just becomes a fight.