The Family Advocate plays an important role in matters concerning minor children.
5 important notes to consider when involving the Family Advocate:
- The Family Advocate aids in assisting parents in reaching an agreement on issues of custody, access and guardianship. In line with this, it ensures all parenting plans and settlement agreements entered into between divorced parents are adhered to and endorsed correctly.
- The family advocate also acts as a mediator where consensus cannot be reached regarding parental rights and responsibilities and can amend or terminate parental rights and responsibilities agreements registered by it, at its offices.
- The family advocate makes recommendations to the court in the form of a report when the court is undecided on issues concerning legal disputes over custody and parental rights. This report is not enforceable unless it is made by an order of the court.
- Parties who wish to challenge the family advocates report may appoint a child psychologist to conduct their own independent assessment. Court proceedings may also simply be postponed in the event that parties do not agree with the findings of the family advocate this also becomes a long, drawn out and costly affair.
- If need be, the family advocate also can be ordered by the court to appear at a trial and hearing of any relevant application, adduce evidence and cross-examine witnesses. It is important to keep in mind that in all matters which concern the Family Advocate the best interests of the minor children are the most important consideration when making
The engagement of the Family Advocate is a very important step and at Talbot Attorneys we strive to guide our clients as best as possible and will ensure they know what they can expect from the Family Advocate. Always remember, the best interests of the minor children are of paramount importance.