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Minor's Counsel​

In most cases, minors are not allowed to testify in court regarding their custodial preference and concerns, and only on some occasions are they allowed to speak with the judge in chambers. In contested custody matters, the minor’s counsel is either requested or appointed by the court to represent the child’s concerns and preference as a neutral voice.


Minor’s counsel only represents the child or children in a custody proceeding, and their role is exclusive to consider what is in the child’s best interest without compromising the child’s rights or forcing them to side with one parent over the other. Minor’s counsel may seek relief on behalf of the minor when it is appropriate, but above all else, their duty is to ensure the child’s safety and well-being and provide the court with relevant information from a neutral perspective.


In order to become a certified minor’s counsel, Channe Coles met all criteria outlined in California Rules of Court 5.242, including but not limited to:

  • Be an active member in good standing of the State Bar of California

  • Completed at least 12 hours of initial training in the following subjects:

    • Statues, rules of court, and case law relating to child custody and visitation litigation;

    • Representation of a child in custody and visitation proceedings;

    • Special issues in representing a child, including the following:

      • Various stages of child development;

      • Communicating with a child at various developmental stages and presenting the child’s view;

      • Recognizing, evaluating and understanding evidence of child abuse and neglect, family violence and substance abuse, cultural and ethnic diversity, and gender-specific issues

      • The effects of domestic violence and child abuse and neglect on children; and

      • How to work effectively with a multidisciplinary expert.


Each year Channe has also completed, at minimum, all eight (8) hours of applicable education and training in the subjects listed above.


There is only a handful of certified minor’s counsel in both Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. If you feel your child’s needs would best be protected by appointment of minor’s counsel, contact our office for more information.


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