1. Indifference. If you phone or email your attorney, and they don’t get back to you within 24 hours, 48 hours max, unless they have a good excuse (e.g., they’re on vacation), the lawyer probably isn’t terribly interested in you or your case. Before you ask, yes, lawyers are allowed to go on vacation.
  2. Out of Place Emotional Attachment. Your attorney is not the one getting divorced, and their level of emotional involvement should not seem like they are. They should not despise the floozy with whom your husband is having an affair. They should not be personally mad that your wife left you. This sort of stuff clouds one’s judgment, and an attorney’s ability to act rationally, and not emotionally, is one of the reasons you hire them.
  3. Jerkiness. Many divorce attorneys are jerks. They can’t help it. It’s how they’re built. If you can, avoid this type of lawyer. When they “fight for you,” all they usually accomplish is spending a lot of your money and getting you divorce terms that, on paper, look a whole lot like what was equally available to you via better, less painful and costly options, such as the collaborative process and mediation.
  4. Inability to Get Along with the Other Attorney. Sometimes this is impossible because, as we just mentioned, many divorce lawyers are not the most savory of folks. However, be wary if you think it is your lawyer’s personality and behavior that may be getting in the way of a reasonable settlement. Paying for an attorney to represent your interests makes sense. Paying for an attorney to fight just for fighting’s sake does not.
  5. Failure of the Smell Test. Trust your instincts. If you sense something’s not quite right about your divorce lawyer, you’re probably right. Your attorney likely stinks.