Many married couples have children, and if they eventually decide to divorce, the dissolution of their relationship will undoubtedly impact their children in some ways. While parents typically want what is best for their children and act accordingly, in some cases, the court will find it necessary to appoint an attorney to advocate for the interests of a child. An attorney for children’s role is limited to matters that directly impact the young parties they represent, though, as demonstrated in a recent New York ruling. If you have children and intend to seek a divorce, it is wise to meet with a knowledgeable New York family law attorney to determine your rights.
Procedural History of the Case
It is reported that the parties were married in July 2003, after which they had three children. Prior to getting married, they entered into a prenuptial agreement which stated that neither party would be entitled to equitable distribution, maintenance, or attorney’s fees in the event of a divorce. The couple ultimately decided to part ways and filed for divorce. The wife then filed a motion asking, in part, that the court set aside the prenuptial agreement. The court issued an order denying the wife’s motion. The attorney for the children then moved to vacate the order pertaining to the prenuptial agreement on the grounds that he should have been permitted to participate in a hearing on the matter to protect the interests of the children. The court denied his motion, and he appealed.
Children’s Rights in Divorce Actions
On appeal, the court held that contrary to the assertion of the attorney for the children, he did not have the standing to file a motion to vacate the trial court’s order. The court explained that while children have some rights with respect to matters such as custody, visitation, and child support in matrimonial actions, they do not have a general right to participate in the litigation of financial matters relating to maintenance or equitable distribution in their parents’ divorces. Continue reading