What is California Minor’s Counsel?
What is minor’s counsel? The expert Minor’s Counsel in Orange County California Bettina Yanez explains. Minor’s counsel is a court appointed attorney for children. Minor’s Counsel is used in high conflict Family Law Cases to assist the court in gathering facts that are relevant to custody and visitation issues. The governing law on the appointment and duties of a court appointed attorney for children is found in California Family Code §3150 and §3151 which reads
3150. (a) If the court determines that it would be in the best interest of the minor child, the court may appoint private counsel to represent the interests of the child in a custody or visitation proceeding, provided that the court and counsel comply with the requirements set forth in Rules 5.240, 5.241, and 5.242 of the California Rules of Court.
(b) Upon entering an appearance on behalf of a child pursuant to this chapter, counsel shall continue to represent that child unless relieved by the court, upon the substitution of other counsel by the court or for cause.
What are the duties of minor’s counsel? Minor’s counsel will gather facts that are relevant to the issue of custody and visitation. In gathering facts minor’s counsel may interview and obtain information from medical, dental, mental health care providers and school teachers.
If you feel that your case will benefit from minor’s counsel, you or your attorney will need make the request to the Judge assigned to your case. The Judge assigned to your case is the only one that can appoint an attorney for your children. When minor’s counsel is appointed the court will review each parties finances and determine who will pay.
If the parties are employed the court may make an order that each party pay one-half of minor’s counsel fees or the court may order one party to advance the entire fee subject to reallocation. If the parties are found to be indigent the court may order that the County pay.
After minor’s counsel is appointed, each parent will be asked to complete a form with their contact information. This form and the order appointing minor’s counsel will then be mailed to minor’s counsel. Upon receiving the court appointment each parent will receive a packet from Yanez & Associates. The packet will include various authorizations, questionnaires and an appointment letter.
Each parent will be asked to bring in the child (children) who will be interviewed by minor’s counsel.
To serve as an attorney for children or minor’s counsel, an attorney must comply with the California Rules of Court which require an attorney to be:
1. An active member of the California State Bar and be in good standing;
2. Carry liability insurance or show the court that the attorney is adequately self-insured and;
3. Complete the education, training and experience required which include
at least 12 hours of applicable education and training which must
include all the following subjects:
(1)Statutes, rules of court, and case law relating to child custody and visitation litigation;
(2)Representation of a child in custody and visitation proceedings;
(3)Training in special issues in representing children, including the various stages of child development; interviewing and communicating with children at various developmental stages and presenting the child’s view; the ability to Recognize, evaluate and understand evidence of child abuse, neglect, family violence, substance abuse, cultural and ethnic diversity, and gender-specific issues;
(D)The effects of domestic violence and child abuse and neglect on children; and
(E)How to work effectively with multidisciplinary experts.
(4) In addition to the above training, minor’s counsel must complete at least 8 hours of additional training each year.
(5) Additionally, in order to be appointed as minor’s counsel an attorney must meet certain experience requirements such as the attorney must have represented a party in a minimum of six cases that dealt with child custody issues five years prior to qualifying as minor’s counsel. Two of these six custody cases must have been contested.
Minor’s Counsel in Orange County California provides a free consultation
If you find your self in need of an attorney to represent you or your children please call Yanez & Associates at 714.971.8000
The Orange County Minor’s Counsel of the offices of Yanez & Associates manages cases in Orange County. Here is a list of some of the OC communities: Costa Mesa, Orange, Placentia, Santa Ana, Stanton, Tustin, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, La Habra, La Palma, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Lake Forest, Los Alamitos, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Westminster; Yorba Linda.