What is a Guardian Ad Litem?
If you are going through a divorce and have minor children with your spouse, the court may potentially appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the best interests of your child to the court. While this may seem frustrating and overwhelming, understanding the guardian ad litem process can help you better handle the situation if a guardian ad litem is appointed to represent your child in your divorce case.
Guardian Ad Litem
The court often appoints a guardian ad litem, to represent a minor child in a divorce. This neutral third-party will make recommendations regarding any type of legal issue that affects the child’s custody or welfare. Oftentimes, a guardian ad litem is appointed when the parents of a child can not agree on substantial issues regarding custody or visitation. Contrary to popular opinion, a guardian ad litem is appointed frequently when there are no signs of abuse or neglect. A guardian ad litem will never represent the parents but work only and solely for the child’s best interest. The guardian ad litem will assess and investigate the entirety of the situation and then make a recommendation to the court regarding what they believe would be the best interests of the child.
Guardian Ad Litem Powers and Process
A guardian ad litem will be granted by the court the full authority to investigate the circumstances, family and friend relationships, background and living conditions of any child may after the divorce. A guardian ad litem may visit with any family or friends of the parents, and ask questions that may seem person. These questions can include living conditions, relationships, and backgrounds of both spouses. If anyone is hostile or unresponsive to the guardian ad litem, they can be subpoenaed to be questioned in court. After an investigation, a guardian ad litem will develop a final report that typically includes a final recommendation regarding every area of a child’s life.
Accepting the Decision of the Guardian Ad Litem
Many parents feel angry or frustrated that a stranger is investigating their home life, family and friends, and their living situation. You are not required as a parent to immediately accept the recommendations of the guardian ad litem. As a parent, you still have the legal right to present your own evidence and witnesses in a court of law. You are allowed to articulate and illustrate why you believe the guardian ad litem’s final determinations were not in the best interest of the child. Ultimately, the judge will make the final decision regarding the best interests of your child.
Contact an Experienced Family Law Attorney
If a guardian ad litem has been appointed in your divorce, contact an experienced family law attorney to help you through the process. The experienced Las Vegas family attorneys at Ghandi Deeter Blackham Law Offices can help you determine your next best steps, and how to present your own evidence regarding your child’s best interests to the judge in your divorce case. Please contact one of our attorneys at 410-535-5500 today for your free consultation.