The Role of the Attorney for the Child with Dawn Cardi

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Dawn Cardi

The Role of the Attorney for the Child


In a contentious divorce where the couple disagrees on issues of custody and visitation, the attorney for the child is responsible for representing the will of their child-client. How does this lawyer go about determining the child’s position? What resources do they have? And what advice do they have for divorcing parents who are moving toward litigation?

Dawn Cardi is a partner at Cardi & Edgar, a boutique law firm that focuses on matrimonial and family law, criminal defense and civil litigation. With 30-plus years of experience, Dawn has a strong background in helping people resolve family matters as well as handling criminal cases. She was recently named Director of the Women’s Bar Association of New York, and she serves on the Matrimonial Law Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. Dawn is regularly invited to lecture on topics related to trial advocacy, criminal and matrimonial law.

Today, Dawn joins Katherine to share how she got started representing children in custody disputes, addressing her role in representing the will the child-client. She explains why trials are a disaster for the family and how conflict between divorcing parents impacts their children. Dawn also discusses the role of the parent coordinator in providing post-divorce co-parenting training. Listen in for insight around how the skills she learned in mediation inform Dawn’s work as an attorney for the child and how undermining your former partner’s parenting can be detrimental to the children.

Topics Covered

How Dawn got involved with representing children in custody disputes

How a lawyer for the child differs from a forensic psychiatrist

The lawyer for the child’s purpose to represent the will of the child-client

When the lawyer for the child may be required to be a guardian ad litem

How Dawn uses the child’s therapist as a resource

Why Dawn encourages divorcing parents not to go to court

How fighting between divorcing parents impacts the children involved

How the skills learned in mediation benefit Dawn as a lawyer for the child

The danger in condemning your former partner’s parenting

  • Teens, tweens manipulate situation to their detriment
  • Damages your own relationship with child in long run

The parent coordinator’s role in the divorce process

  • Educate parents
  • Challenge opinions
  • Follow rules of agreement
  • Help with decision-making

Connect with Dawn Cardi

Cardi & Edgar Law

Call (212) 481-7770 or (917) 543-9993

Connect with Katherine Miller

The Center for Understanding Conflict

Miller Law Group

Katherine on LinkedIn

The New Yorker’s Guide to Collaborative Divorce by Katherine Miller

Email katherine@westchesterfamilylaw.com

Call (914) 738-7765