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Nassau County Family Law Blog

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Tips for Working with a Law Guardian During a Custody Dispute

The court wants to appoint an Attorney For The Child in my custody dispute. What does this mean? 

An Attorney For The Child is not necessarily something to worry about and, in many cases, might be a welcome party to a hotly contested child custody matter. Under New York law, a judge may appoint an Attorney For The Child to a case in any of the following types of matters:
* Cases involving allegations of abuse, neglect and/or drug dependency
* Custody and visitation
* Termination of parental rights
* Child support
* Adoption
* Permanency
* Paternity
* Juvenile delinquency

For the custody and visitation litigant, the court may deem it necessary to inject an Attorney For The Child into the matter if there are allegations of domestic violence or abuse, if the matter is extremely contentious, or upon the request of one or both parties. If you are involved in a case and an Attorney For The Child is appointed, remember that he or she is there to help – and is focused entirely on the best needs of the child. 

Working with an Attorney For The Child during the case

New York law grants an Attorney For The Childs broad powers to investigate the many facets of a child custody dispute. For instance, the attorney may review the child’s medical, counseling or school records without interference. Likewise, the attorney is permitted to interview individuals who play a role in the child’s life, including teachers, caretakers and extended family members.

As a litigant, it is important to allow the Attorney For The Child the opportunity to fulfill his or her role as outlined by the law; obstructing the Attorney For The Child’s access to evidence will not only prove futile, but could also result in a contempt of court violation. As the child’s parent or guardian, you are also under a duty to reveal material information to the Attorney For The Child upon request, and you should never appear combative or uncooperative – as this will undoubtedly get back to the judge. 

Contact a reputable Nassau County family law attorney today

If you are considering a child custody action against your co-parent, contact Howard B. Leff right away by calling (516)739-7500. He has the experience and knowledge needed to zealously advocate for you. His office serves clients in Nassau County and Suffolk County on Long Island and in the five boroughs of New York City.


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