Every child has the right to express their views and have those views listened to in accordance with age and maturity of a child. This is clearly expressed in Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The CRC imposes an obligation to ensure that children are provided the opportunity to be heard in any administrative or judicial proceeding affecting them.
Every child has this right “without discrimination of any kind, irrespective of the child’s or his or her parent’s or legal guardian’s race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or other status” (Article 2 of the Convention).
The, Divorce Act, Family Law Act, and the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child, require courts consider the views and preferences of the child.
At LK Law, we can help advocate and support children in the following ways:
The team at LK Law can represent a child as their lawyer in court. As is the case in most client/lawyer relationships, anything the child relays to the lawyer is considered confidential and privileged. Typically, the lawyer will meet with the child to discuss their views and what they hope will happen for them. The lawyer may also meet with other important people in the child’s life to help add context to the child’s views and preferences. Ultimately, the lawyer is the advocate for the child, ensuring their voice is heard and considered in the context of a family law matter. The children’s lawyer does not act for nor represent either parent.
Other Ways to Hear From Children
Our team can also assist children in other ways. For example, when a child does not have a lawyer we can assist the court and parties by providing information regarding the child and their preferences. Providing information about children’s views and preferences can give children a voice in family law cases and allows decision makers to better understand what may be in the best interest of that child.
There are other supports our team can also provide for children include independent legal advice for example related to adoption as well as other support services.
Contact our team to learn more.