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5655 S. Yosemite St., Suite 205, Greenwood Village, Colorado 80111

Colorado Child Legal Representative Helps Ensure Your Child’s Best Interests are Heard in the Courtroom

Protecting the child’s best interests through effective and sympathetic advocacy

A divorce and its aftermath can be especially strenuous and even traumatic for children. They may be placed in the unfamiliar situation of being raised in two households or of being separated from one parent for extended periods of time. The court’s responsibility is to make sure that all parenting arrangements are in your children’s best interests. To promote this result, Colorado law provides for appointment of a Child Legal Representative — an attorney who is duty bound to advocate exclusively for the child. Bonnie E. Saltzman in the Denver area is frequently appointed by family courts to serve in this important role and knows how to carry it out with care and zeal.

What is a child legal representative?

A Child Legal Representative (CLR) is appointed by the court to advocate for the best interests of children in such matters as parenting time, legal decision making authority, child support, children’s property interests and any other legal issue specified by court order. The CLR is an attorney and is afforded equal status with the other attorneys in the case. The CLR cannot have any family, financial or social relationships with the child, parents or their attorneys that might affect his or her impartiality.

What does the Child Legal Representative do?

The basic duties of a CLR include the following:

  • Investigate the facts and circumstances, which will include interviews with each parent, the child and possibly other relevant persons, such as teachers, counsellors and other family members.
  • Communicate with parents and others about the child as circumstances require.
  • Participate in all aspects of the case for which she was appointed that involve the child she’s representing.
  • Make recommendations to the court relating to granting of legal decision making authority, division of parenting time, counseling or therapy and other interventions as may be appropriate.

Unlike the parties’ attorneys, the CLR has no duty of confidentiality to the child or anyone else. A CLR is required to learn and consider the child’s own wishes if the child is mature enough to express them. However, in making recommendations to the court, the CLR is not required to support a child’s wishes that are contrary to his or her best interests. CLRs do not testify in court or write reports. We have the right to subpoena and call witnesses at hearings. And we can pursue issues in court that are important to your child, if appropriate.

Benefits of a child legal representative?

In a divorce proceeding, even the most conscientious parents can differ on the best interests of their children and might unconsciously confuse their own priorities with those of the children. Judges recognize this and may discount the parents’ opinions, especially when their relationship is acrimonious. The CLR is a neutral who can focus on what is truly best for the child, diligently represent them and reliably advise the court in its important task. When appointed as a CLR, our goal is to employ foresight and compassion to achieve these goals.

We have been trained to communicate with children and youth in a developmentally appropriate and non-suggestive manner. We will meet with your child and educate your child about the court system, the proceedings and our role as their Child Legal Representative. We inform the child that we will (a) investigate and advocate for their best interests, (b) will take the child’s wishes into consideration but (c) will not necessarily advocate for what the child wants. Explaining what your child wants may not be in his/her/their best interests and the difference between wants and needs is critical during our interaction with your child.

Contact an experienced Colorado child legal representative

The Law Offices of Bonnie E. Saltzman, LLC in the Denver area offers a full range of resources for Colorado parents seeking legal assistance in matters involving their children. If you are facing a family court proceeding and believe that your children can benefit from a CLR, we are ready to help. Please call {PHONE} or contact us online to make an appointment for a free initial consultation.