Many court-appointed child guardians in Connecticut are withdrawing from child custody cases or declining to accept new ones amid criticism from some parents calling for reforms in the state's family court system.
The advocates are called guardians ad litem, and they represent children's interests in contentious custody proceedings in court. Parents who have to pay for the guardians have complaints, including fees in the tens of thousands of dollars.
Some guardians also have been subjected to personal attacks in hearings before the state legislature, on the Internet and in lawsuits filed against them.
West Hartford attorney and guardian ad litem Jeffrey Mickelson says the attacks on guardians are a reason he's not taking new cases.
State lawmakers are considering limiting guardian ad litem fees and other family court changes.