In most cases where parents come to Court to decide child custody or visitation disputes, there are difficult, emotional and complex issues involved. In some cases, the Court may determine that an independent advocate is needed to represent the child or children who are involved. In these cases, the Court appoints The Child’s Advocate to serve as the attorney for the child.
As a parent or a caregiver, you may have a lawyer representing you. Your lawyer’s role is to protect your interests and assert your position. At The Child’s Advocate, children are our clients and our job is to advocate their position and protect their interests. Because we represent the child, we cannot give legal advice to parents or caregivers.
In general, The Child’s Advocate has the following duties and responsibilities:
If the parents are able to work with The Child’s Advocate to reach a settlement, consistent with the child's wishes, it gives the parents greater input into the resolution, reduces tension for everyone, and saves the parties’ emotional energy, time and money. If the parties are unable to reach a settlement, the case will proceed to trial and The Child’s Advocate will present evidence, call and question witnesses, and advocate for the child. The ultimate decision rests with the Court.