The short answer is "yes" but only in exceptional circumstances and when the family court considers it's
in the best interests of your child. The court would then appoint a guardian to represent your child.
The court can
make this type of order of its own initiative, on the application of a party to the
proceedings i.e. parent or on the application of a person who wishes to be appointed as the
When would a court do this?
It is unusual in private law proceedings and the court will look at each individual case on its facts. Below are a few examples of when the court may order that your child is separately represented:
1 Where the child has a standpoint which is inconsistent with or incapable of being represented by both parents;
2 Where the views and wishes of the
child cannot be adequately met by a Cafcass report to the court;
3 Where an older child is opposing a
proposed course of action;
4 Where there are serious allegations of
physical, sexual or other abuse in relation to the child; or
5 Where the proceedings concern more
than one child and the welfare of the children is in conflict.
In the majority of cases, the court can establish a child's wishes and feelings by directing for Cafcass to complete a section 7 welfare report. Therefore the issue of separate representation is the exception rather than the rule.
If you have
any questions about a children dispute you can telephone Kate Lovegrove direct on
01892 506 205 or 01732 224 025. Kate is an Associate Solicitor & Mediator
in the family team and is based in our Tunbridge Wells and Kings Hill office.