Understanding Legal Representation for Your Child

When a court believes it is in his or her best interests, your child may be appointed a legal representative. Understanding the different personnel who deal with your child in a legal setting is confusing but critical for you to know.

While family law matters concerning child welfare give rise to appointment of legal representation, these appointments also occur during high conflict divorce matters. For many reasons a judge may appoint personnel to provide the court guidance, or provide your child with the opportunity for a courtroom advocate during legal proceedings.

Possible legal appointments that can be made during a protracted custody battle include an attorney for your child and a guardian ad litem. There are essential differences between the services offered by these personnel, including the following:

  • Guardian ad litem (GAL): Not necessarily a lawyer, a guardian ad litem evaluates current and past custodial history, prepares a report and makes a recommendation to the court as to their thoughts on the best interests of your children. A GAL acts in an advisory role to assist the court in making a ruling on custody.
  • Attorney for the child: An attorney for your child is an advocate for his or her desires in the custody matter. As the voice of your child in courtroom proceedings, an attorney is not expected to act as a social worker or psychologist, but a firm legal advocate to assert the voice of your child in a contested custodial case.

Despite the general view that a custody battle is the product of two warring adults, it takes only one parent to fuel an ugly, expensive custody battle. Our law firm is well known for legal skill and aggressive ability in high conflict divorce and custody matters. Talk to us at Bryan L. Salamone and Associates, P.C. when you need clear, committed representation to help you and your children.

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