Hello, today I would to discuss the role of the Office of the Children’s Lawyer.
The Office of the Children’s Lawyer is a law office within the Ministry of the Attorney General that delivers programs in the administration of justice on behalf of children under the age of 18 with respect to their personal and property rights. Lawyers within the office represent children in various areas of law including child custody and access disputes, child protection proceedings, estate matters and civil litigation. Clinical investigators prepare reports for the court in custody/access proceedings and may assist lawyers who are representing children in such matters.
The Office of the Children’s Lawyer can only be appointed in cases that are currently in court and only decide whether or not to become involved in a case after receiving an order from a judge requesting them to do so. Either party can ask the judge to make this order or the judge can make the order on his or her own. If the judge makes an order asking the Children’s Lawyer to become involved in a case, the court or the parties, depending on the court will fax the judge’s order it directly to the OCL. Both parties will then have 14 days to complete the OCL’s intake forms and fax them directly in to the OCL. It is very important that the parties adhere to the 14 day deadline as if they do not, the OCL generally does not allow any extensions. The OCL will make a decision about whether and how to become involved in the case. If the OCL decides to become involved it will either appoint a lawyer to represent the children in court or a clinical investigator to conduct an investigation and prepare a report with recommendations about the custody and access arrangements that would be in the children’s best interests.
That’s all for today. Thank you for taking the time to watch this video. I hope that I have answered some of your questions about the role of the Office of the Children’s Lawyer. You can also find more information on our website at feldsteinfamilylaw.com.