Who can Request Counsel for a Child during a Family Law Dispute?


In most child custody cases, courts appoint counsel to each minor involved. Their purpose is to represent the best interest of the child and, articulate the child’s concerns and/or custodial preference to the court.

However, if the court does not appoint counsel to the minor child you’re not out of luck. The California Rules of Court allow for a “Request for appointment of counsel.” The rules outline who can request counsel for a child in a family law proceeding. Those who may request are:

(1) A party;
(2) The attorney for a party;
(3) The child, or any relative of the child;
(4) A mediator under Family Code section 3184;
(5) A professional person making a custody recommendation under Family Code sections 3111 and 3118, Evidence Code section 730, or Code of Civil Procedure section 2032.010 et seq.;
(6) A county counsel, district attorney, city attorney, or city prosecutor authorized to prosecute child abuse and neglect or child abduction cases under state law;
(7) A court-appointed guardian ad litem or special advocate; or
(8) Any other person who the court deems appropriate.

If you are interested in requesting an appointment for a child or need help determining if you should, it is recommended to contact an experienced family law attorney to look at your specific case.

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.