Client-Directed Lawyers for Children: It is the 'Right' Thing to Do
52 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2007
The author discusses the intersection of the debates over rights for children and representation of children. Issues, problems and current rights of children, as well as the obstacles to getting a child's voice heard, are outlined. The perceived conflict between parental rights and children's rights if the child's voice is heard is explored. The problems with the use of the best-interest standard as a deciding factor in placement issues, with ideas for improving the standard, are discussed. The wide variances on current practices and standards of representation are detailed and the article concludes that children should be rights-holders and entitled to client-centered lawyers.
Keywords: client-centered lawyer, client-directed lawyer, family law, high-conflict custody, child, children, representation, rights, best interests of the child, due process rights, child's voice, divorce, guardian ad litem, capacity, child centered representation
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