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Amicus Attorneys in Child Custody Disputes in Texas?

This article discusses Amicus Attorneys in Child Custody Disputes cases in Harris and Montgomery County in Texas.

In some child custody disputes, the court may appoint an amicus attorney to help the court decide what is in the child's best interests.

Who does the Amicus attorney represent?

The amicus attorney is appointed by the Court to represent the child. It is the Job of the amicus attorney to make recommendations to the court regarding what kind of custody arrangement would be best in the child's best interest.

What does Amicus Mean?

“Amicus” literally means “friend to the court.” The amicus attorney does not represent either side nor does he represent the child directly. The amicus attorney’s only concern is the child’s best interest.

Who pays for the Amicus Attorney?

Generally, both sides split the amicus attorney’s fees. However, this not always the case and is something the Judge will decide.

What Does an Amicus Attorney Do?

Some things you can expect include:

  1. Talking to the children and the parents
  2. Home visits
  3. Interviews with third parties, such as doctors or friends
  4. Attending court hearings or mediation
  5. Possibly sending out discovery.

By doing these things, the amicus attorney is trying to gather enough information to recommend the court.

Are Amicus Attorneys Always Appointed?

Amicus attorneys are only appointed in cases where the court feels it needs assistance in protecting the child's best interest. Like social studies and psychological evaluations, amicus attorneys are usually only appointed in more contentious cases.

Many couples find that the entire family should agree to a custody arrangement without entering into a courtroom battle. Courts will usually adopt the custody arrangement agreed to by the parents, as long as that arrangement is in the child's best interests. However, there are some situations where a legal custody battle cannot be avoided. In those cases, the court might decide that appointing an amicus attorney is the best way to protect the child’s interest.

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