The Importance of Minor’s Counsel


California Family Code Section 7861 states that “the court shall consider whether the interests of the child require the appointment of counsel.  If the court finds that the interests of the child require representation by counsel, the court shall appoint counsel to represent the child, whether or not the child is able to afford counsel.  The child shall not be present in court unless the child so requests or the court so orders.”

Minor’s counsel can either be appointed by order of the court or upon a parent’s request. The benefit of having minor’s counsel appointed for your child is that the counsel appointed solely represents the child and their interest; thus, giving the child a chance to be heard when their needs may contradict that of either parents’ wishes or desires, such as in a highly contested divorce.

Minor’s counsel will interview the child to get a feel for their custodial preference and in some instances have the power to interview school personnel, doctors, therapists, parents, and others that come in close contact with the minor. This allows children the opportunity to share their feelings with a neutral third party without the fear that the child’s wishes will hurt the feelings of either parent.

Authored by IRWIN & IRWIN.

IRWIN & IRWIN Family Law is located in Fullerton and Newport Beach, California. We provide a full suite of family law services from divorce litigation, divorce mediation, child custody issues, domestic violence restraining orders and representing minors in court. “Every situation is different, and some come with very complex financial issues. Our legal team is here to support you during a very troubling time and prepare you for court, or to at least help negotiate or mediate the issues out to establish an equitable legal resolution,” says Kelly Irwin, Senior Litigator at the firm.