Ex Parte Hightower – Case Brief Summary (Texas)

In Ex Parte Hightower, 877 S.W.2d 17 (Tex. 1994), a guardian ad litem was appointed to represent the minor child, pursuant to Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 11.10(c) (Vernon 1986), now codified at Tex. Fam. Code § 107.001 (Vernon 2000).

The trial court ordered respondent to pay the guardian ad litem fees and costs "as child support and as costs of the representation of the minor child." Id. at 19.

It was argued on appeal that the trial court incorrectly characterized the fees as child support and, as a result, the court erred in holding respondent in contempt for her failure to pay the fees.

The guardian relied on Tex. Fam. Code § 11.10(e), now codified at Tex. Fam. Code § 107.015 (Vernon 2000), which provides that a guardian ad litem's fees and expenses . . . may be ordered paid by one or more of the parties, or the court or associate judge may order one or more of those parties, prior to final hearing, to pay the sums into the registry of the court or into an account authorized by the court for the use and benefit of the attorney ad litem.