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Does your child need legal representation?

Get informed today.

Empowering Children in Legal Proceedings

This is a child-centred, trauma-informed process.

 

If you are a child and your parents are involved in a family law proceeding or a child protection proceeding and you want to have your views heard, then contact the Child and Youth Legal Center at Phone: 778-657-5544.

The child should call the Child and Youth Legal Center and request the service. 

The Legal Center will ensure the child is seeking a lawyer for their own interest and not at the request or influence of a parent.

How do you have a child lawyer appointed? 

Meet Meena Dhillon, your lawyer

Meena is a roster member of the Child and Youth Legal Center of BC, where she is assigned to represent children in court. 

 

As the child’s lawyer, Meena works with children to get their instructions and present those to the parties and the court.

  • Can the Court appoint a child lawyer without involvement of the Child and Youth Legal center?
    The court has the authority to appoint a child lawyer if it is in the child’s best interest.
  • How old does the child need to be?
    The Child and Youth Legal Center does not have a minimum age for our services; however, you must be able to consistently express your views to our staff. The Child and Youth Legal Centre can help children and youth who are up to 19 years old. Even if you are older than 19, if the legal problem started before you turned 19, we may be able to help. See https://scyofbc.org/child-youth-legal-centre/ for more information.
  • Who pays for the child lawyer?
    The Child and Youth Legal Center is funded by the government to provide legal services to children involved in family law proceedings and some child protection cases.
  • How can a lawyer assist in the probate or administration process after a loved one passes away?
    A lawyer can guide you through probate or administration, ensuring legal requirements are met and facilitating the efficient distribution of the estate according to the deceased's wishes.
  • When should I start thinking about creating a will and estate plan?
    It's advisable to start the estate planning process as soon as possible, especially upon major life events like marriage, the birth of children, or acquiring significant assets.
  • Why is estate planning important, and how does it benefit my family?
    Estate planning ensures your assets are distributed according to your wishes, minimizing stress for your loved ones and potentially reducing tax burdens.
  • How long is a Parenting Coordinator usually appointed, and in what situations is it beneficial?
    Parenting Coordinators are typically appointed for two years. This process is highly beneficial in high-conflict disputes, especially when a final order about the co-parenting plan is already in place.
  • What is Parenting Coordination, and how does it differ from traditional legal processes?
    Parenting Coordination is a specialized dispute resolution process, steering clear of court intervention. Meena collaborates with parents to address conflicts, ensuring a timely and child-centered resolution.
  • How can Parenting Coordination help in interpreting and implementing existing final orders?
    Meena's expertise aids in interpreting final orders, guiding parents in practical implementation of parenting plans. If disputes arise, she encourages collaboration; if no agreement is reached, she has the authority to make a final binding determination.
  • How does the mediator ensure a fair and balanced process during family mediation?
    Mediators ensure a fair process by remaining neutral, guiding discussions, and facilitating open communication. Their goal is to empower both parties to reach mutually agreed-upon solutions.
  • How long does family mediation typically take, and is it a cost-effective alternative?
    The duration of family mediation varies, but it is often a quicker and more cost-effective option than traditional legal proceedings, providing timely resolution. Book a consultation for more details.
  • Why would I consider "Hear the Child" for my family situation?
    It provides a child-centered approach, giving your child a voice in legal matters that directly involve them, fostering better understanding. It ensures that the child's emotional well-being is prioritized, providing a caring and supportive environment for them to express their views.
  • Do you accept legal aid requests?
    Legal aid requests for Hear the Child Reports are accepted on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us to confirm.
  • Can "Hear the Child" Reports be used in legal proceedings?
    Yes, the reports are supported by the BC Family Law Act, providing a legal foundation for considering the child's views in family law cases.
  • Is the child present for the interview and meetings alone?
    Yes, the child attends the interview and meetings alone to provide a secure space for open expression without external influence. However, we try to equally involve both parents throughout the process.
  • How does "Hear the Child" differ from a typical interview or assessment?
    "Hear the Child" is non-evaluative, focusing solely on the child's perspective without assessing the child or parents.
  • How can we retain your "Hear the Child" services?
    There are two methods to retain Meena’ services: 1) There must be consent from both guardians 2) A court order appointing or ordering a hear the child report Sample wording for court orders:
  • When should I hire a child protection lawyer?
    As soon as a social worker contacts you. It's crucial to seek legal representation promptly. Our experienced team is here to guide you through the complexities of child protection cases, ensuring your rights are protected and the best interests of your family are prioritized.
  • Can I qualify for legal aid?
    We accept clients through Legal Aid BC. They provide eligible low-income individuals with crucial legal assistance. Check your eligibility by calling 604-408-2172 to reduce financial barriers for legal services. You may request Meena to be your lawyer, when you call Legal Aid BC.
  • Should I speak to a lawyer even if I agree with child protection concerns?
    Yes, consulting a lawyer is essential even if you agree with some concerns. A lawyer helps you navigate the legal process, ensuring fair treatment and protecting your rights.
  • What role does a child protection lawyer play in my case?
    A child protection lawyer advocates for your rights and helps navigate legal processes. They provide advice, represent you in court, and work to achieve the best possible outcome for your family.
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