Can a child be appointed their own attorney in a family law matter?
There are many situations where two parents are battling in court over custody or visitation time, which can have serious negative impacts on a child. In a situation like this, the court may feel it is necessary to appoint the child with their own attorney. An attorney for a child was once known as a law guardian but has been changed to an Attorney for a Child in recent years.
The judge has a number of attorneys that are specially trained in working with children that they will choose from to act as the Attorney for the Child. The Attorney for the Child will speak with the child to listen to their feelings on the matter and whether they have an opinion on how the case is resolved. Of course, hearing the child’s opinion depends a lot on how old the child is and what their maturity level is. For example, if the child is 8 years old and wants to stay with his or her father because dad doesn’t make them go to school every day, the court will take this information into consideration but will not necessarily let the child stay with that parent because they may be irresponsible. However, if the child is a little older and can make informed decisions that are in their best interest, they can communicate that with their attorney.
The attorney for a child is there to help determine what is truly in the best interest of the child. They will conduct a report about the child and share it with the court so the judge can make an informed decision about the family law matter. If you have questions about an attorney for a child, contact an experienced family law attorney today.
Robert Pollack is an experienced divorce and family law attorney in Long Island, New York. Contact The Pollack Law Firm, P.C., to set up a free initial consultation.