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New task force looking into child custody issues

Posted by Thomas Pettinicchi of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Oct 28, 2013 in Child Custody

Connecticut has put together a special group to help address parents' growing concerns regarding the cost of pursuing child custody cases. The group is expected to look into issues regarding child custody cases, including the costs associated with litigation of this nature and the role of guardians.

Maryland currently has a similar committee in place, while other states have mediation programs and other initiatives that are expected to deal with these issues. One growing concern is the appointment of guardians ad litem. These individuals are appointed by judges to represent the interests of minors. They recommend aspects such as custody and visitation to the court officials.

A central concern is the cost of child custody cases. In some circumstances, parents have had to raid retirement accounts and college savings accounts to pay for court-appointed guardian ad litems. They also must pay for social workers and psychologists to oversee supervised visits. Unfortunately, these expenses may not always be a one-time affair. Parents may continue to battle over child custody, visitation, child support and spousal support. One of the task force members says that the system needs reform. Specifically, one task force member said that she does not understand why guardians ad litems charge a fee similar to a lawyer's hourly rate when these individuals do not have to be lawyers. The task force is asking for lower and standardized fees for guardians ad litems.

Connecticut family law lawyers may assist parents with family law issues. They may mediate a joint custody arrangement, decreasing the amount of time and dispute involved in the case.

Source:, "Conn. panel reviewing costs of child custody cases", Dave Collins, October 26, 2013