In California, minors do not typically have a place to discuss their preferences in court or with the judge directly. In instances where the child needs a neutral voice that can uphold the rights of the child and work in his or her best interests, the court may appoint minor’s counsel. 

If you are in the middle of a custody battle, then your child may receive counsel of his or her own. There are considerations that the court has to make, according to the California Courts, in order to appoint counsel. 

Why do courts appoint minor counsel? 

There are several considerations when a court considers minor’s counsel. Often, children will have counsel of their own if the custody case is highly contested. If there are any allegations of abuse towards the child or if neither parent offers a stable home, then the child may receive representation. The counsel is someone who may be able to provide the court with information that would not be available otherwise to the court. 

Who else can request minor counsel? 

The court does not have to be the one to suggest minor counsel. In fact, others may request that counsel represents the best interests of the child. Those who can make this request include a party involved with the case, the child or a child’s relative, one of the attorneys involved, a mediator or any guardian. If the court decides that the person in question is appropriate, it can grant the request. Others who may request representation includes anyone who can prosecute child abuse or neglect.