In court, Guardian Ad Litem stands for “guardian for the suit.” And it is one of the most common types of family law cases. They involve a third party appointed by the court to protect the interests of a child in a divorce, custody battle or other types of legal disputes.
The Guardian Ad Litem is a person who represents and protects the rights and interests of children during cases where social services are seeking an order, such as in contested adoption cases or a Care Order. This guardian is usually the one who makes a report to the court that gives their recommendations for a specific outcome.
How Long Does a Guardian Ad Litem Case Take?
In many cases, a Guardian Ad Litem is appointed within the first few months of custody proceedings, although they may be appointed later in a case if there is a need for one. This type of case usually goes on for about 3-5 months, but the duration largely depends on how long it takes before the judge makes their final decision.
What Happens in a Guardian Ad Litem Case?
The Guardian Ad Litem’s job is to investigate what is in the best interests of the child and report their findings to the court. This may include meeting with the parents, talking to teachers, doctors or other professionals who have interacted with the child, and visiting any homes where the child may live.
They will also make recommendations for what they think is in the child’s best interests, such as custody, visitation or other arrangements. The Guardian Ad Litem will usually file a report with the court that includes their findings and recommendations, and then the judge will make a final decision based on this information.
Who Can Serve as a Guardian Ad Litem?
Guardian Ad Litems are usually assigned by the court and can include social workers from state agencies, attorneys, psychologists or any other professional who the court thinks is qualified. They can also be a family member or friend of the child if the parents agree to this.
If you are involved in a family law case where social services are seeking an order, it is important to speak with an experienced attorney who can help you understand your rights and the role of the guardian ad litem in your case.
What If I Disagree with the Guardian Ad Litem’s Recommendations?
If you disagree with the Guardian Ad Litem’s recommendations, you can file a motion with the court to have them changed, but you must give a good reason why their recommendations should be overruled. This is usually only done when there was some type of conflict in the process, such as not being able to communicate or meet with them properly.
In many cases, it’s best for both parents and children if they can work together with the Guardian Ad Litem. However, if there is a conflict, it’s important to speak with expert Family Law Attorneys like the ones at the Bell & Washington Law Firm who can help resolve the issue.
Contact Our Family Law Attorneys for Your Guardian Ad Litem Case Today
Bell & Washington in Atlanta, Georgia is a full-service family law firm committed to providing every client with personal attention and professional service. We provide assistance in drafting legal documents, filing motions for protection orders or divorce, defending child custody cases and more. One of our specialties is handling Guardian Ad Litem cases on behalf of parents and children.
If you need assistance with a Guardian Ad Litem case, please contact our office today at 404.437.6641 for an initial consultation. We will work with you to understand your unique situation and provide the best legal representation possible.