Children Laws


Understanding Guardian ad litem

Understanding Guardian ad litem

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Understanding Guardian ad litem

A guardian ad litem is a court appointed attorney who is responsible for analyzing the facts surrounding specific cases and taking a position on guardianship authorization. They will determine what is in the child's best interest and ascertain who they believe should be granted child custody before the guardianship order is announced.

The guardian ad litem is not a legal guardian that receives custody of a child. They receive no rights regarding the upbringing of the child; they only investigate the details of the case in order to authorize the guardianship order.

The guardian ad litem is especially important in cases of divorce, in which the parents are unable to agree on the custody of their children. Usually, the court will promote negotiation in order to reach a conclusion in such instances
. However, if this is not feasible then the court will appoint a guardian ad litem to assist in guardianship authorization.

The guardian ad litem may converse with both the parents and the children to ensure abuse has not occurred and that the parents effectively manage their anger before the court will provide guardianship authorization. Other factors that will be taken into consideration include the physical and mental health of the parents, whether or not a parent has a history of drug or alcohol abuse, and whether the environment that each parent is offering would be a stable and safe place for a child to grow up in. They will make a note of any factor that may be relevant to the health and the well-being of the child.

Each parent's financial situation may also be taken into account. Once the guardian ad litem has gathered and analyzed all of the facts about the case, the judge will make a decision about who will be granted custody of the child.


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