In Texas, an “Attorney Ad Litem” is an attorney who is appointed by a court to represent and advocate on behalf of a proposed ward, an incapacitated person, or an unborn child in a guardianship proceeding. The Attorney Ad Litem provides legal services to a person, including a child and owes that person or child the duties of undivided loyalty, confidentiality and competent representation. The court must appoint an Attorney Ad Litem to represent any child that is involved in a court case that is brought by CPS in an effort to terminate the parent-child relationship. Or, in cases where CPS is seeking to become the conservator or the agency in charge of the child.
The Attorney Ad Litem is strictly appointed to represent the child’s best interests and to advocate on the child’s behalf. Some judges continue to keep Attorney Ad Litems to represent children in foster care and as long as the child has an attorney appointed to them, the attorney remains the child’s lawyer.
The Attorney Ad Litem plays a pivotal role in the foster care process. It’s the attorney’s job to interview the child, interview people with a significant knowledge of the child’s history, interview the child’s parents or conservators, and to find out what the child’s goals are. The attorney must find out what the child wants and consider the child’s objectives, as well as the best way to present those desires in court. Furthermore, the Attorney Ad Litem investigates the facts of the case, obtains and reviews records relating to the child, participates in hearings, trials and everything else. With an Attorney Ad Litem, first and foremost that person must be trained and fully experienced in child advocacy.
Attorney Kimberly A. Baker is honored to receive the title of Outstanding Attorney Ad Litem of the Year, and this award is a testament to the fact that she is entirely devoted to the safety and welfare of the children of Johnson County. Kimberly practices divorce law at her firm in Cleburne, Texas. To learn more about the firm’s practice areas, contact Cleburne divorce attorney Kimberly A. Baker at (888) 392-3405 or you can visit her website at http://www.KBakerLaw.com.