In some divorce and custody cases, the court appoints a lawyer for the child. This happens when
- the court thinks your child needs a lawyer, or
- you ask for a lawyer for your child and the court agrees.
In some juvenile court cases, such as those involving abuse, neglect, or delinquency, the court always appoints a lawyer for the child (or you can hire one).
Should I ask for a lawyer for my child?
If you and the other parent agree on custody and visitation, your child probably does not need a lawyer. But you may want to ask for a lawyer for your child if
you and the other parent disagree about custody or visitation,
- you are worried about your child’s safety (when there is child abuse or domestic violence), or
- there is a question about paternity.
What if I ask the court to give my child a lawyer but the court does not agree?
You have the right to ask for a lawyer for your child, but the court does not have to appoint one. If this happens in your case, you may want to hire a lawyer for your child.