Your First Appointment with A Guardian Ad Litem
A guardian ad litem can be appointed by a judge in all proceedings for child custody or for dissolution of marriage or legal separation where custody, visitation, or support of a child is a contested issue. The court must appoint a guardian ad litem in any proceeding in which child abuse or neglect is alleged.
The GAL is charged with representing your child or children in the pending legal proceedings. He or she must also conduct all necessary interviews with persons having contact with or knowledge of the child in order to ascertain the child’s wishes, feelings, attachments and attitudes. The GAL will eventually make a custody recommendation to the court, and while the recommendation is not determinative of the outcome of the case, the court will place substantial weight on what the guardian recommends.
In light of their potential influence on your case as a whole, how do you make the most of your first meeting with the GAL?
In this excellent blog posting, Scott Trout of Cordell & Cordell, P.C. offers tips to help you be prepared for your first meeting with your GAL, and will assist you in focusing the GAL’s investigation on what you deem to be important.