Working with Minors' Counsel in Pasadena, CA
Over 15 years of Court-Appointed Minor's Counsel Experience
Christine Gille, of Gille Law Group, has thirty years of custody experience and is a regularly court-appointed minors' counsel in Los Angeles courts. She has been specifically representing children for over 15 years. Minor's Counsel are required to complete special training and annual updates of the lawyer's credentials. Christine is not only fully credentialed but regularly teaches courses to other minors' counsel through Los Angeles County mandatory legal education and other organizations. She writes on custody matters for lawyers, judges and mental health professionals. There are fewer than 150 regularly-appointed minors' counsel in Los Angeles County, and fewer than 50 of those, including Christine, are certified family law specialists. When appointed as minors' counsel, Christine's experience, careful analysis, and assertive presentation of the provable facts will benefit your child.
CAUTION: If you are seeking a curriculum vitae (resume') to present to the court for selection of minors' counsel, you or your attorney may call to obtain emailed information on Christine Gille. You will not be able to speak directly to Christine in her capacity as minor's counsel before she is appointed because the court would consider this an attempt to impact her neutrality and bias her representation.
In a highly-contested custody matter where the court does not know which parent to believe, the court uses several tools to obtain more information once it analyzes the initial proof. Depending on the issues and facts, the court may typically:
- Order drug or alcohol tests,
- Appoint minor's counsel,
- Order a custody evaluation under Evidence Code section 730 and Family Code section 3110, et.seq.,
- Order psychological or medical testing,
- Order counseling to benefit the child including parent-child reunification, child counseling, parent counseling, anger management, parenting classes, etc.,
- Order a full evidentiary hearing, or
- Order any combination of these remedies and discovery tools.
What Is Minors' Counsel?
In cases involving a highly-contested or factually-difficult child custody dispute as part of divorce or visitation hearings, the courts must take into account allegations about a child's needs, such as alleged abuse or neglect, and an older child's desires, using the provable facts of the case.
The role of minors' counsel is to independently determine what is in the best interests of the child, not merely to believe the more likeable parent.
Minors' counsel, as zealous advocates on behalf of a child or children, are a third lawyer on the case and are there to oppose a parent's attorney whose client is harming the child. Minor's counsel are typically paid by court order, each parent paying a proportionate share, and they are bound to represent the child regarding the issues the court selects in the minors' counsel appointment order.
Minors' Counsel Issues and Typical Sub-Issues May Include:
- Physical Health (Asthma, special needs, smoking, cutting, suicidal ideations, physical abuse, substance abuse)
- Education (Below grade level work blamed on a parent, school choice, nanny or daycare, extra-curricular activities)
- Stability (Move-away, new relationships, stressful transitions, parents' interactions with child and each other)
- Safety (abuse or neglect, latch key issues, danger through associates or family members, gang affilications)
- Emotional issues (depression, rejection, alienation, estrangement, over-alignment, bipolar, ADHD)
- Custody (Issues may vary depending on parents' track record of being able to interact. From an extremely short-term dating relationship that ended without co-habitation to a long-term marriage, the parents' learned co-parenting skills may be quite different in each situation and will impact both the investigation and the court orders.)
To effectively represent their clients, minor's counsel will do the following:
- Investigate various elements of the child's circumstances
- Hold the therapist privilege and interview therapists and counselors
- Gather evidence from witnesses, police and DCFS social workers
- Help settle the case or present the children's evidence and witnesses at hearing.
Representing Parents in Southern California, with or without Minors' Counsel
If you are seeking background on minor's counsel, call for Christine Gille's curriculum vitae. She will not be able to discuss your child without a court order.
However, if you are calling for personal representation as a parent on a contentious custody matter where a minor's counsel may be appointed, we at Gille Law Group draw on the long-term experience gained by our toughest cases to powerfully and compassionately represent parents going through the full spectrum of low, medium and high-conflict custody situations.
If you have questions about how we will help with your high-conflict custody case, do not hesitate to call. We offer effective, personalized representation you need. Obtain an initial consultation by filling out the form today or calling our office to discuss the nature of your case, and to learn more about how we can help you.