We offer Guardian ad litem services in family matter cases when parents are unable to resolve issues regarding the care and custody of their children. A Guardian ad litem is appointed by the Judge or Magistrate at the request of one or both of the parents, and is paid for by the parents. Our rostered Guardian ad litem (GAL) attorneys will work diligently to investigate and make recommendations to the Court that are in the best interests of the children.
A GAL has a wide range of authority to investigate, including: reviewing criminal records, medical and mental health records of the children and the parents; talking with teachers and healthcare professionals; meeting with the parents and with the child(ren) privately; and talking with family members and others who are important to the case.
Once the investigation is completed, the GAL will attempt to negotiate a resolution that both parents find acceptable. The GAL may also issue a written report to be filed with the Court outlining his/her investigation, findings and recommendations to the Court. Guardians do not make decisions – they only make recommendations, but they often are very useful in resolving the conflict through a clear-eyed and objective look at all custody issues with a focus on the best interest of the children . If an agreement is not reached, the GAL is typically asked to testify in Court. The Judge will consider the Guardian’s recommendations when deciding a final Order.