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The role of a child advocate in Indiana family court

Marion County Courthouse

Wherever you reside, whether it be in downtown Indianapolis, living in the suburbs of Carmel or Fishers, or anywhere else in Central Indiana, you can keep yourself informed on the many complexities of family law court in Indiana. Family court is a complex law, and understanding the legal intricacies of the Indiana family court can make a substantial difference.

The role of a child advocate in Indiana family court

Defining a child advocate:

A child advocate is a representative of the child, or children, in a family law court case in Indiana. The child advocate’s function is to ensure the child’s mental and physical health and safety are prioritized amidst the legal proceedings. Children are not always able to adequately convey their thoughts and feelings. The solution? Incorporate an authorized child advocate that will play the crucial role in bridging the communication gap.

Who can be a child advocate?

Individuals qualified to serve as a child advocate can be attorneys, a GAL (Guardian ad litem), child representatives, or social workers. It is imperative to have an advocate for a child in family law court cases to safeguard the child’s greatest interests.

The benefits of having a child advocate:

It is easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of a custody battle or contested divorce case. Parents may become stressed and overwhelmed by the ongoing case; and this is where the child advocate steps in. It is their responsibility to remain impartial throughout the court proceedings, focusing solely on what is most advantageous for the children. After all, a child’s primary responsibility is simply to be a child.

What does the child advocate do as a part of the Indiana family court?

A child advocate may interview all parties involved in the child’s life. This includes parents, siblings, relatives, teachers, counselors, doctors, and anyone else that is a part of the kids’ everyday life. This process seeks to monitor the kids’ physical and mental well-being. Should a specific health or safety issue arise, it is the advocates’ obligation to report these findings to the court.

Remember, the advocate’s job is to listen, observe and report all findings to the courts. They are not here to take sides or judge; their sole involvement is ensuring the well-being of the child.

Why is child advocacy of such paramount importance?

It is vital for parents to recognize the advocate’s role in the case. The advocate supports the case by ensuring the actions taken for the child align with the best viable options available. The advocate listens and observes the child’s needs and desires, refraining from questioning parental capabilities or taking sides. Instead, their commitment lies in advocating for the child’s health, safety, and happiness.

The judge’s ruling:

The child advocate will report all their results to the judge presiding over the family law court case. The objective is to place the child in the most suitable for them environment. The judge will take these findings into consideration before providing their recommendations.

If you would like to speak with a practiced family law and divorce law attorney, you can contact our office to schedule a consultation! You can reach out to us online by submitting a Contact Form or by directly calling our office at (317) 743-7958.

Disclaimer: This blog post is for educational and informational purposes only and is not to be taken as legal advice in any capacity. Reading this blog does not constitute or establish an attorney-client relationship.
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