The California Legislature has made specific findings about custody for children under Family Code Section 3020. It is the public policy of the State to assure that the health, safety and welfare of children shall be the court’s primary concern in making any orders regarding the physical or legal custody or visitation of children. It is also the public policy of the State to assure that children have frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents have separated, or dissolved their marriage, or ended their relationship. It is also the policy of the State to encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities of child rearing to best effect this policy, except when contact would not be in the best interests of the child as provided under Section 3011.
In some cases, a judge will decide that the child needs to have his or her own attorney. An attorney will then be appointed as “Minor’s Counsel” under Family Code Section 3150. The court can order that the parents pay the fees of Minor’s Counsel.
Since July 2009, Colleen Clark has been court appointed as Minor’s Counsel in Napa County in various cases.