Minor’s Counsel: Everything You Need to Know
In family law matters, minors counsel is an objective and non-biased voice for the children affected. For children, having minor's counsel alleviates the pressure to take sides with one or both of their parents and protects their mental wellbeing.
Minor's council plays a vital role in working toward a child's best interests without placing the child in a difficult situation during a contested custody or divorce case.
Because minor's counsel plays such a vital role in protecting a child's wellbeing and determining their future, everyone with children should know how it affects the outcome of a child custody case.
What is the Purpose of Minor's Counsel?
Minor's counsel is tasked with investigating a child's environment for the interests of health and safety. To gather information on the child's situation, minor's counsel will consult with healthcare providers, family members, and any other relevant parties.
To determine the child's best interests, the minor's counsel professional will also evaluate the child's performance in school, medical records, and any other pertinent information.
Why do Children Need Minor's Counsel?
In custody cases and divorces, both of the child's parents will have their own legal representation and counsel – but the child needs to be represented as well.
Minor's counsel will investigate the facts and allegations put forward in the case by reviewing all the data on the child and conducting interviews with the other people in the child's life.
Can Any Lawyer Represent a Child as Minor's Counsel?
Usually, the court will appoint an attorney to act as minor's counsel and represent the child. However, the child's parents may request that the court selects a minor's counsel lawyer from a specific group of attorneys.
Nevertheless, the final approval of a qualified minor's counsel attorney lies with the court.
Who Pays the Fees for Minor's Counsel?
The court will determine who covers the fees for a child's minor counsel – the decision will be based on the evidence presented by the relevant parties in court.
This means that one parent may be ordered to cover all the minor's counsel fees, or both parents may be forced to pay half the amount.
What Happens After Minor's Counsel is Appointed?
Once minor's counsel is appointed, the court will send a notification to the attorney's office. Then, the appointed attorney will notify all parties and request the release of the child's data (from doctors, schools, and any other relevant parties.)
If both parents have been ordered to split the cost for minor's counsel, a retainer must be paid to the attorney. Once the payment is settled, the attorney will begin investigating the child's situation, health, and safety.
The attorney will speak to any relevant witnesses and schedule an appointment to speak to the minor child. Once the investigation is complete, the findings will be released on the day of the hearing.
During highly contested child custody cases, minor's counsel plays a vital role in representing the child and steering the case's outcome toward the child's best interests.Minor's counsel safeguards the child's physical and mental wellbeing – especially in challenging situations that can place undue pressure on the child to choose a side.