The Houston Family Law Blog

Halle Berry's Daughter Gets Court Appointed Counsel

The Halle Berry custody battle couldn’t get any weirder, could it?

Last week, Berry’s ex-boyfriend, Gabriel Aubry, showed up at her door in Hollywood Hills. He was purportedly thrashed by Berry’s present beau, Oliver Martinez, reports Fox News.

Aubry suffered a fractured rib and several bruises to the face. His injuries required stitches. But in the end, Aubry, not Martinez, was arrested, on suspicion of battery, reports Fox.

Aubry and Berry share custody of their daughter, Nahla.

The altercation ensued after Berry requested permission from a judge to move the couple's daughter to Paris. Following the fight, Berry obtained a temporary restraining order against Aubry and Aubry has tried, unsuccessfully, to lift the restraining order.

But the restraining order isn't the only legal obstacle that Aubry will have to face. Both parents have been required to undergo court-appointed psychiatric evaluation.

Furthermore, Nahla has been appointed her own "minor's counsel" by the court. This means that Nahla has her own attorney. Nahla is four years old. That seems young to have her own attorney, but appointing minor's counsel is a common move in custody disputes. It's a measure to ensure that the best interests of the child are met.

But remember, the Aubry-Berry fiasco is taking place in California and "minor's counsel" is largely a California legal term.

In Texas, the court-appointed attorney for a child in a custody battle is termed an "amicus attorney." A Texas amicus attorney is charged with representing the child and protecting the best interests of the child.

The important thing to note here is that the amicus attorney isn't an attorney for the child, per se. It's a court-appointed attorney who is essentially a "friend of the court." That's what "amicus" means. So the attorney's loyalty isn't to the child and it's not to the parent. It's to the court in gathering all the necessary information to act in a manner that's in the best interests of the child.

For example, it's not the amicus attorney's role to sway the court to comply with the child's custody wishes. If a child really wants full representation, it's better to hire a family lawyer of his own.

If you want independent representation, have a look at our directory below for Houston child custody attorneys.

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