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What are the roles of a Guardian Ad Litem in a custody case?

On Behalf of | Nov 28, 2023 | Divorce

Navigating a custody battle is a challenging and emotionally charged process, where the role of a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) becomes pivotal. 

A GAL is appointed by the court to represent the best interests of the child or children involved. This unbiased third party investigates and assesses various aspects of the child’s life, providing the court with valuable insights to make informed decisions.

Investigative process

One of the primary duties of a Guardian Ad Litem is to evaluate the living conditions of each parent. This includes assessing the physical environment, safety measures and overall suitability for the child.

Additionally, GALs conduct in-depth interviews with both parents and, when appropriate, with the child. These interviews aim to gather information about the parents’ lifestyles, relationships and connection with the child.

GALs are also allowed to meticulously review school records, medical reports and other pertinent information that could impact the child’s well-being.

Court recommendations 

Upon completion of the investigation, the Guardian Ad Litem provides the court with recommendations based on their findings. These recommendations can cover a range of aspects, including custody arrangements, parenting time schedules and necessary interventions for the child’s benefit.

Unlike parents who may be emotionally involved, a GAL offers an impartial and objective perspective. This neutrality helps ensure that the child’s best interests remain the focal point of the custody proceedings.

The GAL serves as a dedicated advocate for the child, representing their needs and wishes in court. This advocacy helps create a more comprehensive picture for the court when making decisions.

The role of a Guardian Ad Litem in a custody case is important. From the thorough investigative process to providing unbiased recommendations, a GAL plays a pivotal part in shaping the outcome of custody proceedings. Understanding and appreciating the significance of GALs is essential for anyone involved in or affected by a custody dispute.