child custody proceedings can be emotionally overwhelming. If a child’s parents
cannot come to an agreement over legal decisions involving their children,
a viable option might be appointing a child attorney. Although parents
have the right to ask the court to appoint a lawyer to their child to
protect his/her best interest, the court may decide to appoint one without
the parents’ request, especially if there are signs of domestic
or sexual abuse.
There are two types of lawyers available to a child: a child attorney or
a guardian ad litem. A child attorney is hired to represent a minor child’s
best interests according to his/her wishes and acts for the benefit of
the child. By contrast, a guardian ad litem determines the best interests
of the child—without hearing the wishes of the child—and reports
their findings to the court.
The child’s lawyer or the guardian ad litem will establish the best
interest of the child by doing the following:
Interview the child – The attorney will meet with the child to discuss the details of
the situation, as well as determine the child’s feelings and wishes.
Interview the child’s parents – The attorney will meet with each of the child’s parents to
determine their wishes and to further understand each side of the case.
Interview other influential adults – The attorney may meet with other adults in the child’s life,
such as teachers, coaches, counselors, and daycare providers.
Review medical records – If abuse or neglect is involved in the case, the attorney will
evaluate the medical records to gain a better understanding of the situation.
Participate in any custody hearings – The attorney will represent the best interests of the child inside—and
Both parents must help their child’s attorney to the best of their
ability by making all scheduled meetings, handing over all medical and
school documents, and provide other necessary information. Keep in mind,
the child’s parents are financially responsible for a guardian ad
litem or a child’s attorney.
If you are in a situation where you believe a child’s attorney would
benefit your case,
Houston family law attorney at the
Law Office of Kathryn Marteeny today.