Elite Lawyer

Guardian Ad Litem Attorney Overview

Elite Guardian Ad Litem Attorney

Lawyer Representation for Children in Child Custody and Family Law Cases

Family law cases involving children can often be very complex. During divorce cases or in situations in which parents are separated, contentious disputes can arise over how to handle matters related to child custody, visitation/parenting time, and other issues. While parents are usually encouraged to work together to reach an agreement that will allow them to continue to raise their children together as co-parents, there may be cases where the court will need to step in and make decisions about what would be best for the children.

If parents cannot agree on how they will share the responsibility of raising their children or how much time children will spend with each parent, the judge in their case may need to make a ruling. However, the judge will want to be sure the decisions made will protect the children's best interests, and a guardian ad litem may be appointed to help the judge determine what would be best for children. A guardian ad litem may also be necessary in cases where a parent or another party has concerns about children's safety.

What Does a Guardian Ad Litem Do?

A guardian ad litem, which is sometimes referred to as a GAL, is an attorney who will represent children in a family law case. A judge may choose to appoint a GAL, or either parent may request that a GAL be appointed. The GAL will then perform an investigation, and they will offer recommendations to the court about how to make decisions that will protect the children's best interests.

During a GAL's investigation, he or she will meet with both parents and work to gain a full understanding of the issues that need to be resolved. The GAL will usually interview the children to learn more about their relationship with both parents, their concerns about the situation, and their desires about the outcome of the case. A guardian ad litem may visit the parents' homes to ensure that they can provide a safe living environment, and they may observe parents' interactions with their children inside or outside of their homes. They may also speak to other parties who can provide information about the case, such as doctors, therapists, teachers, or extended family members.

After completing the investigation, the guardian ad litem will provide a report to the court containing their recommendations for how matters should be resolved, and these recommendations will be based on what the GAL believes is in the children's best interests. While a judge is not required to follow a GAL's recommendations, they will usually give the GAL's opinions a great deal of consideration. Since a person must receive extensive training to be certified as a guardian ad litem, and they often have a history of working with family courts, judges will usually trust a GAL's recommendations and take them under advisement when determining what is in children's best interests.

Parents who need to resolve disputes regarding their children will want to discuss these matters with their attorney to determine whether it is a good idea to request that a guardian ad litem be appointed. If a GAL is involved in a family law case, a parent should work with their lawyer to understand the best ways to answer the GAL's questions, provide any information requested, and demonstrate that they can provide for their children's best interests. By working with an attorney who is experienced in cases involving guardians ad litem, parents can take the right steps to protect their rights and achieve an outcome that will allow them to maintain a positive relationship with their children.

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