Serving As Your Child’s Representative At Home And In Court
In disputed custody or parenting time matters, the domestic relations or juvenile courts will sometimes appoint an attorney to act as a guardian ad litem for minor children. Guardians ad litem are frequently referred to as GALs.
A GAL who has been appointed by the court conducts an investigation that includes meeting the child, the parents and other important people in the child’s life. A GAL also conducts home visits, where the child can be observed interacting with both parents in their respective homes. A GAL also reviews documents, including a child’s school records and medical records.
After completing the investigation, a GAL will write a report outlining the findings and making recommendations to the court that the GAL believes are in the best interest of the minor child. Recommendations include a custody allocation and parenting time schedule that the GAL believes is in the child’s best interest.
A GAL is not an attorney for a minor child, but is an attorney advocating for what the GAL believes is in the children’s best interest. The GAL takes the children’s wishes into consideration when making recommendations to the court. This is a subtle but important distinction. An attorney for a child advocates for what the child says he or she wants. A GAL advocates for what that GAL believes is best for the child.
At Barbara J. Howard Co., L.P.A., our lawyers are proud to serve as guardians ad litem in the Hamilton County Domestic Relations Court. When parents are facing a high-conflict issue, our guardian ad litem attorneys take a particular interest in representing their children’s best interests. We are not their child’s attorney, but we will help the child understand and answer questions, and help the court find a resolution that keeps the child safe.
Will Your Child Need A Guardian Ad Litem In Court?
We often see clients facing high-conflict issues such as child abuse allegations against one parent. When these cases arise, we are there to be a voice for your child’s best interests throughout the court process.
One spouse or parent may believe the other is physically or emotionally abusing the children. The other parent will typically deny the allegation. The guardian ad litem will help the court and the parents understand the current family dynamic to find resolutions that are in the children’s best interests.
We Know You Are Worried. We Can Address Your Concerns.
Our guardians ad litem put children’s physical and emotional safety first. We commit to working with compassion to provide skilled interactions to determine your child’s wishes and best interests.