Divorce is an emotional and legal process, and it is never easy, especially when they involve children. You likely will have a custody hearing to determine who gains legal and physical custody of your minor children.
During this process, the judge may appoint a guardian ad litem. This is what you should know.
Who can request a guardian ad litem?
First, either parent in a divorce battle can request a guardian ad litem. Other relatives, guardians, conservators or those who play major roles in the children’s lives can request a guardian. Finally, a judge can appoint a guardian.
Why would some request a guardian ad litem?
These guardians receive appointments when abuse may be present. In addition, parents may have very different views on living situations and how to raise their children. They could argue about the child’s school, religious upbringing, daycare or other physical, social, emotional or mental issues.
What are the duties of a guardian ad litem?
Guardian ad litems advocate for the children the judge assigns them to. They interview the children and parents and visit their homes, schools, daycares and other places they frequent. They may also speak with anyone involved in the children’s lives, including school officials and teachers, relatives and daycare providers. They learn about the children’s lives, routines and relationships and give the judge a report and custody and visitation suggestions.
Who are guardian ad litems?
Family court judges cannot always conduct thorough investigations and observe the family. Guardian ad litems act as liaisons for the court. They receive legal training but are not lawyers, and have investigative authority and the capability to make recommendations based on your children’s best interests.
For the best outcome, work with these professionals, listen to their concerns and suggestions and stay open to the investigative process.