Attorney Ad Litem – Probate/Custody

Megan E. Wooster is a qualified Attorney Ad Litem for children in child custody cases, and guardianship cases. In order to qualify as Attorney Ad Litem, an attorney must complete additional training relating to child development; state and federal law; custody/visitation; and family dynamics, including substance abuse, domestic abuse, and mental health issues. Additionally, an Attorney Ad Litem must complete continuing education courses each year to remain qualified as an Attorney Ad Litem.

 

In child custody and guardianship cases, an Attorney Ad Litem completes an independent investigation, which may include any of the following:

 

  • The review of pleadings and discovery documentation;

  • Interviews with the minor child;

  • Interviews with the parents;

  • Interviews with the step-parents or parents’ partners;

  • Interviews with the child’s daycare workers or school teachers;

  • A home visit to both parents’ home to observe the environment; or

  • Interviews with siblings or other family members of the child.

 

Following his or her independent investigation, the Attorney Ad Litem will make a custody recommendation to the parents’ attorneys and/or the court. The Attorney Ad Litem’s recommendation will be based on the “best interest of the child standard.”  Should the Attorney Ad Litem’s recommendation differ from the wishes of the child, the Attorney Ad Litem must communicate the child’s wishes to the court.

 

The Attorney Ad Litem will also consider “custody criteria” that may include any or all of the following factors:

 

  • Moral fitness factors: integrity, character, compassion, sobriety, religious training and practice, a  newly acquired partner; and

  • Stability factors: emotional, work, financial, residential, school, health, and partner.

  • Love and affection factors: attentiveness, parental discipline, attitude toward education, social attitude, attitude towards the other party; and attitude towards co-parenting;

  • The child’s preference;

  • Special needs of the child;

  • Health of the child;

  • Child care arrangements;

  • Work schedule of the parents;

  • Age of the child;

  • Sex of the child;

  • Home environment, such as location, size, and members of the household; and

  • History of where, and with whom, the child has resided in the past.

© 2018 M.W. Law, PLLC

Megan E. Wooster, J.D.

Stephens Building

111 Center Street, Suite 1200

Little Rock, AR 72201

T: (501) 372-3700

F: (501) 423-1005

E: megan@mwlawpllc.com

 

 

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