Tuesday, September 11, 2012
How does one ensure that the attorney for the children does their due diligence in representing the children?
Q: I feel that the attorney for my children is not representing them with due diligence. I do not believe this person can represent best interest without investigating the children’s complete circumstance and knowing what is true or untrue in the case that will decide their futures. To my knowledge this attorney has made no effort to verify any allegations including illegal activity, forgery, & perjury, manipulation, fear mongering & parental alienation. I feel that this attorney is biased to the children remaining in their current location overlooking the fact that my spouse does not reside there as claimed. This means that the children are being raised by a third party instead of their parents. This attorney seems perfectly comfortable relying on affidavits and evaluations, making court appearances & collecting fees rather then exhorting any effort to truly determine what is in the children’s best interest and how best to represent them. I have read Adopting Law Guardian Standards and The Chief Judge Clarifies the Role of Attorneys for Children NYSBA Family Law Review… but they all seem vague. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
David Bliven’s answer: Part of your confusion stems from a misunderstanding of the role of the Attorney for the Children. The Attorney is NOT an investigator, and thus has no duty to "investigate the facts." The Attorney is there to represent his/her clients, and thus as best as s/he is able to s/he should ascertain their position on the particular issues before the Court. Your attorney - in collaboration with you - should be gathering evidence and attempting to persuade both the Judge & the Attorney for the Child to come around to your perspective. In any event, if you would like a free, initial consultation, please feel free to contact me at my White Plains office - 914-468-0968.
Answered 4 minutes ago.