What Is A Guardian Ad Litem?
Divorce and paternity cases are emotionally charged and often times the kids feel the brunt of their parents’ animosity. But in all cases where children are involved, the Court is charged with ensuring the results are in the best interest of the children. In some instances the Court will appoint an independent person to look out for minors or incapacitated persons. In a divorce, this may happen if you have children and may also happen in a paternity case. A guardian ad litem may or may not be an attorney, but does not act as an attorney during the case.
The guardian ad litem acts as a “next friend” of your child and looks out for what is in their best interest. Because the purpose of a guardian ad litem is to make sure the kids’ best interests are taken into consideration when important decisions in the case are made, the law gives guardian ad litems great powers, which include:
● Interviewing the children, witnesses or parties
● Seek independent mental or physical health exams of the children
● Give reports and recommendations to the Court
Paternity and divorce cases are hard on children. The benefit of having a guardian ad litem appointed is so that the guardian can meet with the child and put them at ease. Having an independent person present and “on the kids’ side” helps make the children feel less tension and more likely to express their feelings in a positive way. And, if there is an allegation of abuse in a case the appointment of a guardian ad litem is required.
For questions about guardian ad litems, call an experienced family law attorney for help. We put the needs of your children first and look out for their well-being. Call today to schedule an appointment.