Traditional Legal Services


Traditional Legal Services

Children can be the center of various forms of custody disputes such as child in need of care, paternity, post divorce custody, third party visitation, guardianship and adoption proceedings. My Child Advocate provides child-focused legal representation to parents, caregivers and others who are interested in keeping the focus on the child.


Child In Need of Care: A child in need of care (CINC) action is an action filed with the court alleging a child’s physical, mental, or emotional needs are not being met. A CINC action may be filed by the state or a private individual. Within a CINC action, a child may be removed from the custody of parent/ custodian and placed in the temporary custody of another individual or agency. The goal of a CINC action is to find permanency for children, preferably in the home of the child’s parent(s). If a child is removed from his or her parent’s home and the parent(s) is unable to modify his or her conduct or condition to meet the needs of his or her child within a reasonable time frame, the court may look towards other permanency placement options for the child. My Child Advocate represents children, parents, grandparents, and other interested parties in public and private CINC actions.


Paternity: Any party may file an action to determine a parent/child relationship, to establish legal paternity, custody, parenting time and child support. My Child Advocate represents parents, children and interested parties in paternity actions.


Post-Divorce Custody: After the finalization of a divorce, changes in circumstances may arise resulting in a need for a final parenting plan or custody order to be modified to provide for the best interests of the child. My Child Advocate represents parents and children in post divorce custody disputes.


Third Party Visitation: In Kansas, a grandparent or step-parent may be granted visitation if they can prove:

  • They have a substantial relationship with the child; and
  • Visitation is in the child’s best interest.


The burden is on the individual requesting visitation to prove the above mentioned components. My Child Advocate represents parents, grandparents, step-parents and children in third party visitation cases.


Guardianship: In the event a parent is unable to meet the needs of their minor child, they may seek the assistance of a friend or family member to care for the child. In this situation, it is usually in the best interest of the child that the arrangement be “legalized.”
The court can grant an individual legal guardianship of the child after proving consent of both parents (in specific situations, the consent of only one parent may be necessary) and after a hearing is held on the matter. Unless a parent is proven unfit, a motion may be filed to dissolve the guardianship at any time. My Child Advocate represents parents, children, and other interested parties in guardianship actions.


Adoption: Adoption is a legal vehicle for creating a legalized parent-child relationship where there otherwise would not be one. There are various types of adoptions including:


  • Adult adoption: The adoption of an individual who has attained the age of majority;
  • Agency adoption: The adoption of a minor child where an agency has the authority to consent to the adoption;
  • Independent adoption: The adoption of a minor child where the child’s parent or parents, legal guardian or non-agency person (in loco parentis) has the authority to consent to the adoption, but does not include a stepparent adoption; and/or
  • Step-parent adoption: The adoption of a minor child by the spouse of a parent with the consent of that parent.


My Child Advocate represents adoptive parents, biological parents, and children in adoption proceedings.