As a Portland divorce attorney, it is my duty to inform clients that Oregon family law judges will determine what is in the “best interests of the child” when making child custody decisions. When the parents cannot agree on what is best for the child, sometimes an attorney is appointed to represent the child.
ORS 107.425(6) gives the court discretionary power to appoint an attorney for a child if requested by one of the parents. However, appointment is mandatory if requested by the child.
I represent children and parents during family law actions, and in my experience, appointing the child an advocate of their own is an effective way to settle a case without the need for litigation. If you are involved in a divorce that involves a custody dispute, or you are a party in a custody action, talk to your lawyer about the pros and cons of requesting an attorney for your child.