Determining Child Custody

Long Island Matrimonial & Family Law

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The Role of the Attorney for the Child

When the parties are not able to agree on custody and parental access, the court will appoint an attorney for the child (AFC) who will advocate for the children’s interests in the case.  In a case where the child or children are mature enough to express a rational preference for the parent they wish to live with, the AFC will advocate that position.  Of course, it should be fairly obvious that the ability to express a preference does not mean that the preference is in the child’s best interests.  Nevertheless, courts will often defer to an AFC’s position because of the belief that the AFC is a neutral party.  For this reason, maintaining a good rapport and open communication with the AFC can be important to the success of a custody case.

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