How To File For Guardian Ad Litem

Question:

How do I file for Guardian ad Litem in a divorce case? If I apply for a court fee’s waiver and am granted will I have to pay for the GAL? What is the process and how long does it take?

Answer:

Before you ask for a Guardian ad Litem, you should consult with an attorney. Typically, the court appoints state Guardian ad Litems only in cases where there are allegations of abuse. If you have these allegations, the state usually covers these fees. However, aggressive Guardian ad Litems may request fees if the parties are well off. Even if the Guardian ad Litem is paid by the state, there are several considerations you should make.

First, the Guardian ad Litem may add additional cost and complication to the case. Having another attorney involved tends to complicate the issues. Second, the Guardian ad Litem will make recommendations to the court that will carry great weight. You need to consider that the Guardian ad Litem may not make a recommendation in your favor. That will make your case more difficult. Third, Guardian ad Litems do not represent the children’s wishes.

Rather, he or she may make a determination of what he or she subjectively thinks is best for the child. This may be different that what either parent wants for their own child. For example, he may think that the child needs to be in therapy. The court tends to accept such recommendations even if it adds hassle and expense to the parties and even if neither parent nor the child wants to involve a psychologist. Please click on the link below, “Custody Order” for more considerations in your custody order.

Peter ChristensenHow To File For Guardian Ad Litem