A Best Interests Attorney (BIA) is an attorney appointed by the court to represent minor children in a custody case. Because your child has rights, but is not old enough to hire an attorney or to adequately express his or her wishes, the court appoints a neutral third party attorney to represent your child’s rights in the case. It may seem a bit daunting that suddenly your child has an attorney, but the role of the BIA is to report to the judge about what he or she sees as being in the child’s best interest. The BIA often acts as the eyes of the court, but the BIA can also act as a mediator, helping the parents come to an agreement.
Keep these important points in mind when working with the BIA in your case:
- The BIA has no legal authority over your child. He only represents your child in the custody case, as a voice for your child’s interests.
- The BIA does not decide what your custody arrangement will be, however he reports to the judge and makes a recommendation, so his opinion matters.
- The BIA is there to evaluate everyone (parents and child), so be respectful, polite, and welcoming. Put your best foot forward when talking to or visiting with the BIA and always be truthful.
- Talk to your child about the BIA and explain his role in the case. Encourage your child to speak openly with the BIA. Paint the BIA as a friendly helper in the divorce.
- Expect the BIA to meet your child and possibly visit your home. The BIA may also choose to speak to your child’s teachers, therapists, and medical providers.
- Talk to your attorney if you any concerns about the BIA. Your attorney can evaluate any issues that come up and resolve them.
When you need a law firm that responds to your needs, the Sampair Group is your choice in the Glendale, Mesa, and Phoenix areas of Arizona. Make an appointment for a consultation today.