What is an Attorney for the Minor Child (AMC)?
Parents involved in a divorce or child custody litigation may hear the term “Attorney for the Minor Child” or “AMC.” It’s reasonable to wonder: “What is an Attorney for the Minor Child?”
Read on to learn more.
What’s the Definition of Attorney for a Minor Child?
An Attorney for the Minor Child is an attorney appointed by the court to represents a child when his or her parents are unable to resolve a parenting or child-related dispute.
How Do You Get an Attorney for a Minor Child Assigned to Your Custody Case?
The court appoints Attorneys for Minor Children. This happens one of two ways:
- The judge decides an AMC is needed, or
- A parent requests that the court appoint an AMC.
What’s an AMC’s Role?
The AMC is the child’s attorney. In other words, an AMC represents a child’s wishes and advocates on his or her behalf. Just like each parent’s attorney advocates on his or her client’s behalf, the AMC does the same for the child.
The AMC can speak in court on all matters pertaining to the interests of the child including custody, child support, and visitation. The AMC can also file motions and call witnesses in court on behalf of the child.
How Does an AMC Represent a Child?
An AMC’s role is to advocate for a child in a manner as close as possible to that of an attorney’s role when she or he represents an adult. That said, unlike when attorneys represent adults, the primary concern when an attorney represents a child is the child’s best interests. In other works, an AMC considers more than the child’s desires. In other words, the AMC has a dual role. The AMC’s first role is as an advocate for the wishes, desires, and opinions of the child. Second, the AMC must safeguard the child’s best interests while he or she advocates.
Who Can Be an AMC?
First, Attorneys for Minor Children must be licensed Connecticut attorneys. They must also complete the comprehensive training program required by Connecticut Practice Book Section 25-62. Finally, The AMC cannot also serve as either parent’s attorney.
What’s the Difference Between an Attorney for the Minor Child (AMC) and a Guardian ad Litem (GAL)?
One of the other legal terms you might hear is “Guardian ad Litem” or “GAL.”
The Guardian ad Litem’s role is different from that of an AMC. Unlike the AMC, who represents the child, the Guardian ad Litem does not represent either parent or any other party in the case. Rather, a GAL only represents the best interests of the child. More, the GAL testifies about his or her opinion of the child’s emotional, psychological, and physical needs.
Like an AMC, a GAL may be a lawyer. Unlike a AMC, a GAL is not required to be a lawyer. More, a GAL does not participate as a lawyer in the case but rather testifies as a witness.
In other words, a GAL represents the child’s best interests while the AMC (1) represents the child’s legal interests and (2) supports the child’s best interests.
Read: What is a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL)?
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