Question: I live in Georgia and when my husband and I filed for a divorce, the attorney working the case stated that it would become final 31 days after petition was signed by both parties. We signed the petition and waited the 31 days. On the 35 day I called to get the status because I hadn’t heard anything from the attorney. I gave a time frame that I needed the service to be completed because of some things that I needed to complete before I transitioned to my next duty assignment, both myself and my husband are active duty military. The attorney told me that she could meet that time frame but didn’t meet it and now she’s being very rude about me needing a status. I feel as though working with an attorney is different from going to a store and buying something, not being satisfied, and being able to return that item for a refund or having a outlet that would allow me to complain about the service. Does anything like that exist? How long after being promised and paying in full for a service from an attorney do we have to wait before that service is reasonably expected to be completed?
The Judge’s Answer: If you are not satisfied with the services of your attorney, you may fire her and hire an attorney of your choosing. Without knowing the specific reasons for the delay in your case, I cannot tell you whether the time frame you were given was realistic. However, in most situations, divorces may take longer than expected. You should communicate with your lawyer to determine what the delay is and see if you can do anything to speed up the process. If you have a complaint about the services you have received, you may file your complaint with the State Bar of Georgia. This office governs and disciplines attorneys licensed to practice in Georgia.