The Family Advocate has many duties but in the context of Divorce Law, they are usually consulted to ensure that all Parenting Plans and divorce Consent Papers are in the best interests of any minor children involved. The public can, however, always have access to the Family Advocate and it is important to note that they offer a free service.
The role of the Family Advocate includes the following: to provide education to family members and others involved in the systems serving the family and youth; to help identify the strengths and needs of families; to be a mediator between the system and the family by helping to educate professionals on the strengths and needs of the family; to help family members understand the different roles of the agencies involved in the system and how they may affect the family, and to assist families in identifying and utilizing necessary services.
The Family Advocate helps state and local agencies and systems adopt more strength-based and family-driven programs, policies, and services. The focus is to better meet the needs of families and their youth who have mental illness, co-occurring disorders or substance use disorders and improve outcomes for all, including families, youth, and the agencies they utilize.
The Family Advocate also has the authority to draft Parenting Plans at no cost which will help provide the minor child with a stable and suitable schedule between the two parents. The Family Advocate cannot however provide a maintenance amount as this falls under the jurisdiction of the maintenance court. Should a parent feel like they are not sure of their rights or responsibilities toward their minor child, the Family Advocate can be approached in order to arrange a meeting between the two parties to mediate the rights and responsibilities between the two parties. This process is also free of charge, however should one of the parties decline to attend the meeting, the Family Advocate has no authority to subpoena them to attend the meeting.
The Family Advocate is a perfect remedy for parents who have their children’s best interests at heart and whose aim is to provide a stable environment for them should their parent’s separate / divorce.
This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice.