Families can find it challenging to agree on child custody, especially when the issue becomes contested. A guardian ad litem can be appointed under certain conditions. Before one gets assigned to their case, many families are unaware of the duty of a guardian ad litem. Instead, you have to be mindful of what to expect before interacting with a guardian ad litem.
A family court will appoint an attorney called a “Guardian Ad Litem Attorney,” or GAL attorney, to figure out which course of action is best for the child. After examining the specific circumstances of the family, a GAL recommends steps to the court that will best protect the child’s welfare.
What is the role of guardian ad litem in child custody?
The responsibilities of a guardian ad litem vary from case to case and are determined mainly by what the judge has specifically asked the GAL to look into. In certain situations, the order can be rather vacuuming, allowing a GAL to assess the whole scenario for a kid and offer recommendations as they see fit.
But more commonly than not, courts appoint a guardian ad litem for a particular reason, including when one parent abuses drugs or alcohol or if one parent is emotionally well enough to visit their kid alone. A GAL could want to get in touch with a child’s babysitters, instructors, friend’s parents, religious members, and other people who could offer an accurate evaluation of the child’s situation.
Tips on How to Communicate With a Guardian Ad Litem
1. Make a Positive First Impression
When it comes to working and interacting with a GAL, first impressions do count. From the first time you meet, the GAL will be collecting judgments about you based on several factors, including your appearance, hygiene, demeanor, and attitude toward life.
2. Communicate regularly and be accessible.
Make sure you are accessible to your GAL during working hours and that you stay in constant communication with them on issues related to your case. GALs often view inquiries and interest in a case favorably as they demonstrate that the parents are interested in working with the person, ensuring their child’s care and best interests.
3. Be Honest, But Never Provide More Information Than Are Required
You must avoid lying to a GAL. It may be used against you later on if you end up providing information that you knew to be incorrect at the time. Depending on the circumstances, it can even cost you custody or visiting time with your kids. However, it is equally important to avoid providing more information than the GAL requires.