Are you looking for a child representative in Colorado Springs? Unsure of whether you need a CLR or not? Our partners at Knies, Helland & McPherson are here to help.
At Knies, Helland & McPherson, we specialize in family law and are familiar with the circumstances surrounding child representation as related to the local laws and regulations. It is our goal to work with you to ensure that the best interests of your child is always at the forefront of any legal proceeding.
The partners of our firm are also all mothers and passionate child advocates and we understand the delicacy and emotionally-charged nature of these situations.
As your representative, we will partner with you to create a strategy that is unique and appropriate to your situation. We will provide you with more than just legal counsel and will walk with you through whatever legal situation you are facing. We are familiar with the sensitivity surrounding family law cases involving children and work through each with compassion and care.
Keep reading to learn more about our CLR services.
Children are often not of age to express their opinions in a court of law, and there is no need to investigate underlying psychological issues. In such a case, having a lawyer or a legal representative for your child is more appropriate than having a Child Family Investigator (CFI). The court will typically appoint a child legal representative or CLR in a case in which there are disputed parenting issues. Alternatively, either party may request legal representation for the child or children.
The CLR is an attorney who is appointed per state law who is designated to represent the best interests of the child. The representative does not specifically represent the child. This distinction may seem elusive, but consider it in the case of a teenager who wishes to live with his father who has lax curfew rules and lets him skip school and smoke. While the child may wish to live in this environment, it is not actually in the best interests of the child. The CLR will take the child’s wishes into consideration, but he or she is not bound to uphold them.
At Knies, Helland & McPherson, we work very closely with our clients to uncover any facts, such as those presented above. It is our goal to ensure that we meet the court’s guidelines for the best interest of the child but are also sensitive to the families with whom we work.
Once appointed, the CLR has an active role in every aspect of the case. Unlike a child family investigator, however, a child legal representative is not a neutral expert who testifies. Instead, the CLR is an attorney who examines witnesses and fights for a certain outcome within the court case. A CLR is also considered a ‘first among equals’ and is granted greater say on issues including parenting time and responsibilities than any of the parents’ representatives. As such, a CLR is often able to work with counsel to negotiate a settlement, as the CLR’s views hold the most weight.
A child legal representative is responsible for offering recommendations regarding allocation of parental rights and responsibilities, parenting time, and child support. Such a representative will also address any other issues that may arise. The attorney is responsible for taking the child’s desires into account, but he or she is not bound to make recommendations solely on the desires of the child. It is the representative’s legal duty to determine what is in the best interest of the child and make commendations that directly align to the child’s needs, even if that goes against the child’s desires.
Court concerns involving children are particularly complex and often emotionally charged. Many of these cases involve custody issues or parenting responsibilities of which both parties have distinctly different ideas on the needs and best interests of their child or children. In this case, it is often best to request a child legal representative. A CLR is beneficial to:
A child legal representative is often consider more appropriate if your child is older and his or her idea of confidentiality is important. A third party representative may make it easier for your child to share personal information that he or she may not want one or both parents or other relatives to know.
As the parent, it is difficult to you to be impartial when making decisions for your child. A child legal representative can take on the task and remain a neutral party throughout all court proceedings. If you are in the midst of a custody dispute that may benefit from a CLR, contact Knies, Helland & McPherson for legal advice and support throughout the process.