When a relationship between parents sours, children often find themselves caught in the middle. If a child custody dispute involves allegations of neglect or abuse, the services of a neutral attorney are often contracted to protect the best interest of the child. Texas parents who are concerned about the outcome of a contentious case may benefit from the services of a Guardian ad litem.
No matter whether child custody disputes are the result of a divorce, protection order or revisiting a prior agreement, any allegations of abuse or neglect may require the services of a court-appointed impartial attorney for the child. This court-appointed Guardian ad-litem serves a vital role in ensuring that the custody order represents the best outcome for the child. This individual is appointed by the judge and works with the parents’ attorneys in a neutral fashion. He or she is granted full access to all pertinent information related to the physical, mental and emotional well-being of the child.
Parents, medical personnel, mental health professionals and school administrators are all required to provide any essential information that this attorney will assemble for the family courts. In addition, the attorney is granted unfettered access to the child. All communication between this individual and the child falls under the attorney-client privilege. While the courts are required to ensure that any allegations of abuse or neglect are thoroughly investigated, they do not look favorably on those who attempt to sway a court’s decision by making false accusations.
In those cases where a Guardian ad litem is employed, both parents are required to pay into an account that will provide for the attorney’s services. In certain child custody cases, these impartial attorneys may provide the court with the most thorough and accurate assessment to protect the well-being of a child. Texas parents who are unable to resolve a dispute on their own will likely benefit from the guidance of an experienced attorney.