At Knies, Helland & McPherson law, our attorneys’ main legal services are family related. For this reason, we are familiar with the circumstances surrounding child representation and how that may be affected by local laws and regulations. It is our goal to work with you to ensure the best interests of your child is always at the forefront of any legal proceeding.
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The founding partners of our firm are all mothers who are passionate child advocates. We understand the potential delicate and emotionally charged nature of legal cases that involve children. As your representative, one of our attorneys will help you create a strategy that is unique to your situation. We will provide you with legal counsel and guide you through your case.
What Is a Child Legal Representative?
Children who are often not of age to express their opinions in a court of law and have no need to investigate underlying psychological issues often require legal representation. The court will typically appoint a child legal representative (CLR) in a case in which there are disputed parenting issues.
The CLR is an attorney appointed per state law and who is designated by a parent to represent the best interests of the child. The representative does not specifically represent the child. For example, say a teenager wishes to live with his father who has lax curfew rules and lets him skip school and smoke. While the child may wish to live in this environment, it is not actually in the best interests of the child. The CLR will take the child’s wishes into consideration, but he or she is not bound to uphold them.
At Knies, Helland & McPherson Law, we work closely with our clients to uncover any facts, such as those presented above. It is our goal to ensure that we meet the court’s guidelines for the best interest of the child but are also sensitive to the families with whom we work.
What Role Does a CLR Play in the Court?
Once appointed, the CLR has an active role in every aspect of the case. Unlike a child family investigator, a CLR is not a neutral expert who testifies. Instead, the CLR is an attorney who examines witnesses and fights for a certain outcome within the court case. A CLR is also considered a ‘first among equals’ and has a greater say on issues including parenting time and responsibilities than any of the parents’ representatives. As such, a CLR is often able to work with the court to negotiate a settlement.
A CLR is responsible for offering recommendations regarding allocation of parental rights and responsibilities, parenting time, and child support. Such a representative will also address any other issues that may arise. The attorney is responsible for taking the child’s desires into account, but he or she is not bound to make recommendations solely on the desires of the child. It is the representative’s legal duty to determine what is in the best interest of the child and make commendations that directly align to the child’s needs, even if that goes against the child’s desires.
When Do I Need a CLR?
Court concerns involving children are particularly complex and often emotionally charged. Many of these cases involve custody issues or parenting responsibilities that both parties have distinctly different ideas on the needs and/or best interests of their child or children. In this case, it is often best to request a child legal representative.
A CLR is beneficial to:
- Determine what is in your child’s best interest.
- Be a neutral legal party when disputes arise.
- Address sensitive issues regarding your child’s wishes.
A child legal representative is often considered appropriate if your child is older and his or her idea of confidentiality is important. A third-party representative may make it easier for your child to share personal information that he or she may not want one or both parents and other relatives to know.
Offering Knowledgeable Legal Guidance
As the parent, it may be difficult for you to be impartial when making decisions for your child. A child legal representative can take on the task and remain a neutral party throughout all court proceedings. If you are currently facing a custody dispute that may benefit from a CLR, contact Knies, Helland & McPherson Law for legal advice and support throughout the process.
I would highly recommend Knies, Helland, and McPherson Law.Jackline N.
I cannot say enough good things about not only Jennifer Helland but also the entire Knies, Helland & McPherson team.David W.
"Saved my life and gave me my son. Going anywhere else would be a disservice to yourself."Justin H.
The partners and attorneys at Knies, Helland & McPherson are seasoned litigators with decades of combined courtroom experience. We help clients transition into the next phase of their life.
Clients Come FirstOur Attorneys believe you can part ways with a loved one with dignity and respect, without harming your children. They also believe divorce and mediation can be much less confrontational and toxic, and far less expensive.
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