One of the most common areas of dispute when parents divorce involves the parenting plan or custody agreement. Whether the divorce is a collaborative one or litigation is involved, it is generally believed that children are best served when both parents are active in the raising of the kids. Ideally, this means (depending on the plan) that both parents are involved on a day-to-day or week-to-week basis.
Sometimes, however, one parent may seek sole custody of the children because they believe (right or wrong) that the other parent is incapable of raising the children. The parent seeking custody believes they are the best parent for the job, which means that they claim that they are the only parent acting in the best interests of the children.
The Amicus Attorney’s role
An Amicus Attorney may be requested by a parent or may be appointed by the court on its own motion as an impartial party whose interests lie solely with the children and their wellbeing during a divorce, custody battle, adoption or other family law matter directly related to children. As a neutral third party, they can provide the court with an unbiased opinion of what the best interests of the children are regardless of what the children or their parents say.
Fact-finding to determining the truth
An Amicus Attorney typically has a background in child custody litigation and does not represent any stated interest of a child (an attorney representing a child’s stated position in a case is called an Attorney Ad Litem). The role of an Amicus Attorney is to interview the children, the parents, and the parents’ attorneys, as well as teachers, coaches and others who can provide insight on the best interests of a child based on firsthand knowledge. The Amicus Attorney may then prepare a report that is filed with the court, or can otherwise advise the Court on recommendations to be considered in deciding what custodial arrangements would be in the best interests of a child.
Helping to determine what is best for the children
It is in the best interests of the entire family if the parents are forthright and truthful when speaking with an Amicus Attorney. If a parent is concerned about the interviews or potential findings, they should speak with an Experienced Board-Certified Family Law expert attorney who works in Collin County, Dallas County, Denton County or elsewhere throughout Texas. These legal professionals represent the interests of their client throughout the family law dispute while also working with the Amicus Attorney.