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When Do Children Need a Lawyer in Divorce Cases?

Saturday, 01 May 2010

As many attorneys will attest, the conflicting interests of a divorcing couple don’t always provide for the best interests of their child. However, in the eyes of Colorado law, the best interests of the child are paramount, which means they are more important than the needs of either parent.  It is at this point that one or both parents realize - their child also needs a legal representative known as guardian ad litem.  A Colorado Springs family lawyer can represent your child, or you help you find an attorney who specializes in advocating for children.


Special Guidelines for a Children's Attorney

Because a child is not capable of making legally binding decisions, they will be ineligible to participate in the legal proceedings, and unlike traditional client-attorney relationships, the attorney is in no way compelled to comply with the wishes of the child.  Rather, the children's legal representative uses his or her own judgment in deciding what really is in the child’s best interests.  In addition, a child’s attorney cannot be called as a witness in the divorce proceedings. 

As for the expense related to hiring a child’s attorney, an attempt will be made by the court to apportion the cost between the parties in the divorce, but if that is not possible the state of Colorado  will bear the financial burden.  Also, when the children's attorney is state-appointed as a “Guardian Ad Litem” (GAL), the reason cannot simply be that the two spouses are unable to communicate with one another.

When considering a request to the court for a children’s attorney, follow the advice of your own Colorado Springs family lawyer before deciding on the best course of action.

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