If you are going through a divorce and have children with your spouse, then chances are you will deal with a law guardian. A law guardian is an attorney that is appointed for the sole purpose of representing your child during any custody or visitation proceedings stemming from your divorce. In the boroughs of New York City, law guardians are usually attorneys who work for the Childen’s Law Center.
Once a judge has appointed the attorney, they will meet with your child on a one on one basis to get a better feel for what your child wants as a result of the divorce. The law guardian’s job is to listen to your child’s needs and desires, and advocate for their best interest. The attorney will play an instrumental role in helping to determine a custody and visitation order because they are a non-biased 3rd party who has no prior history with either parent.
It is important to keep in mind that a judge will not determine the outcome of a custody case based solely on the law guardian’s input, but their input will be taken into consideration. Additionally, you must remember that the attorney is involved in your case to represent your child, not you or your spouse. You should not discuss private matters or concerns with the law guardian (you have your own lawyer for a reason), and you should never coach your child on what to say during their private meetings.
At the end of the day, your primary concern should be what is in the best interest for your child. One way the courts can assure that your child’s needs are met accordingly is to appoint an attorney to advocate on their behalf. If you’re in the process of obtaining a divorce with a sensitive child custody or visitation issue, contact Brian D. Perskin & Associates. Brian and his staff have extensive experience working in conjunction with law guardians to get a fair divorce and custody settlement.