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When to Use a Best Interest Attorney in Arizona
A Best Interest Attorney in Arizona is an attorney appointed by the Court to represent a child in a contested child custody case. It is pretty rare to have a Best Interest Attorney appointed by the court for a child in an Arizona child custody case.
A Best Interest Attorney, correspondingly, can be appointed for the child even if one or both parents have their own attorneys representing their interests in the custody case.
So, the question becomes why and when will a judge appoint a Best Interest Attorney in Arizona to represent a child in a contested child custody case.
Typically, a judge will appoint a Best Interest Attorney if the judge is concerned the parents are so embroiled in battling over the custody and control over their children that they fail to focus, instead, upon what is in their children’s best interests.
As a result, the judge who will decide the child custody issues becomes concerned he or she will not receive important information that may influence the judge’s decision in the child custody case. That is where the Best Interest Attorney comes in.
Specifically, a judge will consider appointing a Best Interest Attorney in Arizona for hotly contested child custody cases when it appears neither parent is focusing on what is in their child’s best interests.
Who Pays for the Best Interest Attorney in Arizona
The court has an approved roster of Best Interest Attorneys in Arizona; although the court does not have to necessarily pick a Best Interest Attorney from that roster.
The judge has the authority to authorize the payment of a Best Interest Attorney’s fees through the state.
If the case is a dependency case, meaning the state has accused either or both parents of being unfit to parent their children, the Best Interest Attorney will typically be paid by the state of Arizona.
In these cases, the parents do not have to pay anything to the child’s Best Interest Attorney.
In other child custody battles between two parents where the State of Arizona is not involved, the court will order the parents to pay the attorney’s fees charged by the Best Interest Attorney.
This can become expensive; particularly if both parents are also paying fees to their own attorneys.
What are the Best Interest Attorney’s Responsibilities
A Best Interest Attorney has the same responsibilities as the attorneys representing the respective parents.
Specifically, he or she must meet with their client (the child), complete an investigation into the case, including interviewing the child and prepare to represent the child in court.
They may issue discovery requests for information, may speak to the child’s doctors and teachers, and ask questions of all witnesses at any child custody trials.
Likewise, the also have the same duty of confidentiality as other attorneys and, therefore, cannot disclose what they discuss with the child during their interviews of the child or children.
A Best Interest Attorney in Arizona Cannot Testify in Court
Since a best interest attorney in Arizona is appointed to represent the child in a court proceeding, they cannot be called to testify at any trial or hearings.
They can still participate in hearings and trials as any attorney representing a party in an Arizona family law case can do such as calling and questioning witnesses and presenting evidence to the Court.
The Position a Best Interest Attorney Takes on Issues Will Be Very Persuasive to Most Judges in Arizona
The parents and their attorneys are going to advocate for their own interest, which do not always align with the child’s best interests.
Whereas the Best Interest Attorney in Arizona is considered to have a more neutral perspective on the situation and is primarily, if not exclusively, focusing on the child’s best interests.
As a result, the position the Best Interest Attorney takes may carry a lot of weight with most judges.
Contact Us Today With Your Questions About a Best Interest Attorney in Arizona
If you have questions about best interest attorney in Arizona, you should seriously consider contacting the attorneys at Hildebrand Law, PC. Our Arizona child custody and family law attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience successfully representing clients in child custody and family law cases.
Our family law firm has earned numerous awards such as US News and World Reports Best Arizona Family Law Firm, US News and World Report Best Divorce Attorneys, “Best of the Valley” by Arizona Foothills readers, and “Best Arizona Divorce Law Firms” by North Scottsdale Magazine.
Call us today at (480)305-8300 or reach out to us through our appointment scheduling form to schedule your personalized consultation and turn your child custody or family law case around today.
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