When the court needs an unbiased perspective on a child’s best interest during a divorce proceeding, it may appoint a guardian ad litem
for that child. The guardian ad litem’s role is to gather information about the child’s current lifestyle and personal needs and to use this information to make recommendations to the court about the child’s custody.
Do not panic if the court appoints a guardian ad litem to help determine the ideal parenting plan for your child. You want what is best for your child, and working cooperatively with the guardian ad litem is one of the most effective ways to ensure that your child’s needs are met. If you disagree with the guardian ad litem’s findings, speak up about it with the guardian ad litem and your lawyer.
A Guardian Ad Litem Acts in a Child’s Best Interest
A guardian ad litem is not a child’s attorney. An attorney promotes his or her client’s wishes, whereas a guardian at litem acts in a child’s best interest, even when this is at odds with the child’s wishes. A guardian ad litem works “for” the court, rather than the child, which requires him or her to remain objective at all times.
What a Guardian Ad Litem Does
To gather information about your child’s lifestyle and your family life, the guardian ad litem will likely interview each member of your family. He or she might also visit your home to observe your child’s environment and how he or she interacts with other members of the household. A guardian ad litem may be required to gather general information about your family life and your child’s personal needs or he or she may be asked to focus on a specific aspect of your child’s life or your family lifestyle, like to determine the support level your child has for his or her learning disability in each household or to evaluate how a parent’s mental health diagnosis affects his or her ability to maintain a stable household.
After gathering relevant information about a child and family, the guardian ad litem submits a written report to the court. He or she does not create court orders, but provides information the court can use to determine which orders to create and enforce.
Draper Law Office can Help you Work with a Guardian Ad Litem and the Court
As a parent, one of your divorce goals is to maintain a consistent, quality relationship with your child while his or her needs are met through a parenting plan. Your lawyer can help you reach this goal. Visit Draper Law Office online or call us at (866) 767-4711 today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation in one of our three Central Florida offices today.