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Can attorneys be disallowed from representing a party in a custody case if their own children are friends with the parties kids?

Orlando, FL |

The dissolution was final several years ago. The support has been modified twice in 7 years. The mother is not being responsible for enrolling children in childcare for which she has been receiving a credit for on the 12.980(e), yet pockets it and at her very best drags her feet several weeks before enrolling the kids. I have given many deadlines and chances to do what she is supposed to be doing but finally had to enter a petition to start legal proceedings. I was surprised to see her bring in counsel last time in court but soon after realized she looked familiar. She is a parent of a friend of one of my kids and she has also been my childs ymca soccer coach. Simple logic tells me this is not appropriate and if my children are questioned in court they will be looking at her as a "coach".

With the answers provided thus far, if the aforementioned attorney's personal life out of the courtroom comingles with the children and both parents, (the parent she is representing as well as the opposing father) and she has firsthand experience out of the courtroom in her personal life observing the oppositions interaction with the children, could she be questioned in examination about the father/daughter interactions she has witnessed at the childrens/her own child's extracurricular sport events?

Attorney Answers 4


Attorneys are only disqualified if there is a true conflict of interest, and being a friend is not one of them. In most cases, children never testify, so I would say that the attorney is not doing anything wrong given these facts.

This information is a general answer and is not specific to any particular case. Carin Manders Constantine, Esq. 727-456-0032/ 727-488-8272

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The children will not be questioned in court. This does not appear to be a conflict of interest to me. You should hire counsel and ask them.

R. Jason de Groot, Esq.,

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It is highly unlikely that she would be prevented from being the attorney because she knows a party or the children outside of the case. Also, the children are not going to be questioned in court, so that should not be a concern. It is also extremely rare that a minor child would be permitted to testify in court. Good luck to you.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for your particular case nor is it intended as legal advice. I have not reviewed your case nor have I met with you and the answer to this question does not in any manner whatsoever establish an attorney/client relationship.

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I agree with Ms. Constantine. There does not appear to be any conflict of interest here. Good luck.

Please be advised that any answers or information disseminated above do not constitute legal advice and that the attorney responsible for this posting is merely attempting to participate in a Q & A session intended to be helpful but certainly not intended to be legal advice. It is important that you understand that no attorney-client relationship has been formed and that the attorney has no obligation to follow up with you with your legal issue unless you separately contact said attorney and arrange for him to legally represent you.

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