Divorce – Do It Right

Divorce – Do It Right

Guardian Ad Litem And Custody: What Are They?

by Joyce Diaz

A child custody case can be mentally and emotionally draining. If you and your child's other parent can agree on the custody arrangements, you are in good shape. If you both are unable to agree, a judge will make the arrangements for you. A guardian ad litem may also be used to ensure the child's best interest during the process. If you have never heard of a guardian ad litem, the following may be helpful:

Who Is a Guardian Ad Litem?

A guardian ad litem is a person who represents the children. This person makes sure the children's rights are taken into consideration under the law and serves as your child's voice when going through the court process. A guardian ad litem is an attorney or legal professional with special training who advocates for children in a legal proceeding.

How Does a Guardian Ad Litem Help During Your Custody Proceeding?

The guardian ad litem evaluates how your family operates to gain an idea of the best needs of the children. The guardian ad litem interviews the parents, children, and other important people in your children's lives, such as grandparents and other extended family members. They may also wish to speak to any medical or educational professionals your children are in contact with, such as a therapist or school counselor. They will also want to look at your child's school records. The guardian ad litem will collect all of this information to create a dossier on each child to help them best advocate for the kids.

After the guardian ad litem has all pertinent information, they will be able to provide the judge with a better overview of your family dynamic. This will help the judge fully understand all there is to know about your children when making custody decisions. The judge will better understand the children's home life, how they are doing at school, the mental health of the children, and other issues that may impact custody. During the children's interview, they may also state which parent they would prefer to live with full-time, if possible. Depending on the circumstances of your family, your child may also be asked to speak to the judge.

Are You Provided with a Guardian Ad Litem?

If you think you need a guardian ad litem for your custody case, you can request one. However, the judge will decide if they are necessary. In some states, you can get a guardian ad litem involved if there are serious domestic violence issues within a family dynamic. Your guardian ad litem will have a fee, that will be part of your legal costs for your custody case. For more information, contact someone like Albert & Krochmal in your area. 


About Me

Divorce – Do It Right

Hello. My name is Stephanie Laurel. I have recently been through a divorce, and although I don’t wish it on anyone, I do wish that everyone could come out of the proceedings feeling they have been taken care of. My husband and I had been married twenty-eight years. We have four children, two of which are still under eighteen years of age. We owned the home we lived in and had a vacation home in a different state. We are civilized people, we get along fairly well considering, but no matter how much we thought we could go through the divorce process without lawyers, it wasn't possible. We each hired a divorce attorney to represent us. Most of the negotiations went well, but when we hit a rough spot the attorneys took over. Thank goodness. I’m going to share more about the experience and hope it helps you.