The most adversarial phase of your divorce process may involve deciding custody for your child. While you and your soon-to-be former spouse may each want the best for your child, you may disagree on what that looks like. Should the matter fall to the court to decide, the judge may take steps, including appointing guardian ad litem, to determine the most favorable arrangement for your child.
When appointed in a child custody case, the guardian ad litem may perform a range of duties.
Assess your child’s circumstances and needs
According to state law, the guardian ad litem will take steps to learn your child’s circumstances, needs and views on the case. To this end, the guardian ad litem may conduct regular in-person meetings with your child and communicate with your child’s health care providers. The appointed guardian ad litem may also review relevant reports, including educational, psychological and medical reports.
Assess the facts of your case
The guardian ad litem may independently assess your case. This may include reviewing the facts and circumstances of the case to help determine your child’s best interests.
Advocate for your child in court
The duties of your child’s guardian ad litem involve attending all proceedings relating to your case. The guardian ad litem will serve as your child’s advocate in court hearings and other proceedings, looking out for his or her best interests.
If you and your child’s other parent cannot agree on the living and visitation arrangements for your child, the guardian ad litem may help provide the court with much-needed clarity on the best situations for your child.