The Children’s law Center, LLLC, a law firm incorporated by attorneys and child advocates Annabel Murray and Stacy Fukuhara-Barclay, focuses on the legal and best interests needs of Hawaii’s children. The CLC works exclusively on cases that involve children, including custody, paternity, abuse, guardianship, adoption, or conservatorship.
After working in the Family Court for a combined total of more than twenty-five years as child advocates, custody evaluators, mediators and litigators, we’ve seen all too often the devastating and long-lasting effects that litigation has on children. We’ve wondered, “How would the children have fared if their parents had tried alternatives to litigation… alternatives that yield much more positive outcomes for children and have the added benefit of being considerably less expensive and time-consuming?”
We believe that most parents want to act in their children’s best interest. Sadly, they often find themselves navigating through the confusing adversarial legal process. Their fear is that one “wrong move” could cost them their relationship with their child. To protect themselves, they hire the “best” attorney they can afford, “ask for the moon,” and support their request for full custody with strongly worded descriptions about the other parent’s mental health, parenting abilities, and morals. The other parent does the same, and very quickly, the anger and conflict escalate, and in many cases, it leads to life-long issues for their children who were caught in the middle of the battle.
In 2006, after many years of “talking about it,” we opened the Children’s Law Center, LLLC, a law firm dedicated to child-centered and sustainable custody solutions. The CLC works exclusively on cases that involve children, including custody, paternity, abuse, guardianships, adoptions, or conservatorships. However, the vast majority of our cases are custody disputes. In such a situation, we work with the divorcing and separating parents to provide on-going support from a “best interest of the child” perspective. We work with both parents, not only to create a child centered co-parenting plan, but to facilitate the implementation of the plan. Most importantly, we provide on-going support to insure the plan is working for each member of their newly structured family by helping to fine-tune the co-parenting arrangements over time.