Can a lawyer just drop your case while in the middle of a divorce?

Question Details:My daughter's lawyer tells her he is dropping her case. While in the middle of a divorce (11 months now), he says he is closing his office and joining a firm of lawyers. My daughter has paid her down money and payments every month. There was a temporary child custody awarded and temp alimony and child support awarded to her. The father picks up the 1 child for weekend visitation.

Asked 5 years ago under Divorce, Marriage, Alimony | 8845 Views | More Legal Topics

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B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar | FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney Answered 5 years ago

He can't "just drop" a case.  As far as the court is concerned, he's your daughter's lawyer, and he has to represent her, until he files a motion with the court "to be relieved as counsel" or similar language.  Your daughter will have to be served with a copy of those papers, when he files them.  If he hasn't put enough work into the case to justify what she has actually paid, at whatever the rate in their agreement is, then she should be prepared to say that to the court, when that motion is heard, and she might get some money back, then.

But, unless the case is too far along for the judge to let the lawyer out without delaying the case too much, your daughter will need another lawyer.  Even if the judge makes the lawyer stay on, she might be better off with someone who wants the case.

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