Guardian ad Litem (GAL)
What is a GAL?
A Guardian ad Litem (GAL) is useful in cases where there is significant conflict between the parents. The (GAL) investigates the child or children’s issues and if there are concerns regarding their well-being.
What does a GAL do?
The Guardian ad Litem’s job is to be a “neutral voice” of the child or children. In a divorce or parental rights matter the Guardian ad Litem is acting in the best interests of the child or children. This occurs through investigating the facts of the case for the Judge, and to reporting their findings back to the Court. They are sometimes asked to testify, but they always must file a written report.
During your case the Guardian ad Litem (GAL) will meet with both parents individually and with the child or children. There will be at least one home visit to observe the children in the home of each parent. Sometimes interviews with teachers, pediatricians, psychologists, therapists, coaches, neighbors, third party caregivers, or other family members will be necessary. These interviews focus on any issue that affects the child or children.
As your case concludes, the Guardian ad Litem (GAL) will produce a final report. The report will outline the investigation and note any issues or findings of fact. The Judge will consider the content of the report in a final ruling. The (GAL) may also provide specific recommendations for custody based on the issues uncover during the investigation.
Your attorney will provide the final report prior to your final hearing or trial.