Attorney Ad Litem in Sarasota Divorce cases
Sarasota, FL divorce courts have long sought to protect minor children from the often contentious litigation that arises. Traditionally, the testimony of minor children was excluded or allowed in very limited circumstances and was to be avoided at all costs. Sometimes the children are the best witnesses in contested custody matters, and it’s impossible for the Court to make a fair decision without giving the children a voice.
Increasingly, Sarasota Courts have been using Florida Statute § 61.401 to appoint an attorney to represent the children. This attorney is called an Attorney Ad Litem and represents the child, or children, exclusively during the divorce. For questions about a Sarasota Attorney Ad Litem, contact Tobaygo Law.
Benefits Of An Attorney Ad Litem
A Sarasota Attorney Ad Litem can be a valuable asset to the divorce court. The attorney ad litem is a third party, unbiased legal advocate for the child(ren). Their role allows the child(ren) to have representation unaffected by parental desires and gives the child(ren) a voice to assist the court in making its decision. The attorney ad litem has an obligation to provide complete loyalty and confidentiality in every communication, along with attentive and competent representation for the minor.
An attorney ad litem isn't required for every divorce case, but any child(ren) involved has the option to request one. The court may appoint an attorney ad litem when it determines representation is necessary to protect interests of the child(ren).
What Is The Difference Between An Attorney Ad Litem & Guardian Ad Litem?
An attorney ad litem is appointed by the court as a minor’s legal representative to protect the minor’s interests and acts as a third attorney during the divorce proceedings, such as calling witnesses on the minor’s behalf, objecting to presented evidence, and examining witnesses.
The role of a guardian ad litem is outlined in Florida Statute § 61.403. He or she acts as an investigator on behalf of the minor’s best interests with the end goal of recommending to the court what is the minor’s best interest. Information is compiled through interviews with the minor, school personnel, and friends of the minor’s parents, along with observing the minor with both parents. The guardian ad litem also investigates both parents’ homes. The final Guardian’s Report from the guardian ad litem is provided to the court to help the court in making a final determination.
Experienced Attorney Ad Litems In Sarasota, FL
Divorce is often a highly emotional and stressful time for every party and becomes even more so when there are children involved. The family law attorneys at Tobaygo Law have years of experience acting as attorney ad litems for children in divorce proceedings. We provide the highest quality legal representation and always focus on the child(ren)'s best interest. To learn more about an attorney ad litem in Sarasota, FL can help, contact Tobaygo Law today.