Attorney for a Child
ATTORNEY FOR A CHILD
When parents are fighting, neglecting, or even abusing their child, I am able to represent a child in a court of law. In many family court cases, there may be instances in which an attorney will need to represent a minor. This attorney is called “GAL” or Guardian Ad Litem. A Guadian Ad Litem must be appointed in child order-of-protection cases, or in any case where abuse or neglect is alleged by either parent, but can also be requested by either party to assist the furthering of the child’s best interest in the family’s court case.
How are the child’s best interests protected?
The Guardian Ad Litem takes on the role of representing the child’s best interests in a family court matter by determining a custody plan which prescribes a physical custody plan of when each parent shall have custody of the child, as well as a legal custody arrangement, so parent(s), have the right to make important decisions regarding the child such as medical, educational and religious upbringing decisions.
How does a Guardian Ad Litem help?
If the child is an appropriate age, I will speak the child as well as talking to both of the parents. If needed, I may even contact other family members, friends, police officers, doctors, teachers, daycare providers, counselors, and others to attain additional information about the parties, the children and their family dynamic. After gathering every testimony and records from the school, doctor and/or counselor, I will formulate a custody recommendation for the children. It’s important to note that it is not unlikely for a court to follow the recommendation of the Guardian Ad Litem. In certain cases, the parents will not agree to the recommendation and will continue with a trial to try and persuade the Judge to order a different custody plan.
When minors are in need of protection because their legal guardians cannot advocate for them, Missouri has many state laws that protect minors’ best interests who require a Guardian Ad Litem. I hold a GAL certification of legal specialty so I can be that attorney for your child.