Hi, I'm Dave Ward with The Ward Law Firm, and one of the questions that I get asked a lot is, what is a guardian ad litem?
A guardian ad litem is somebody who's an attorney whose job is to advocate on behalf of the children that are involved in a divorce. Frequently, there are disputes about what is in the best interest of the children when it comes to determining custody, visitation, etc. And frequently, courts are given wildly different stories about where the children are, what they want, what they want to do. And of course, from an evidentiary standpoint, the things that a child says, generally speaking, is not admissible because of something called the hearsay rule.
Well, a guardian ad litem is somebody who is designated by the court to not only go out and meet the children and talk with them and learn more about them and their desires but also goes out and conducts a thorough investigation of the parents, their home environments, the support system that they have out in the community, and other issues that impact a court’s ability to make a determination with regard to what is in the best interest of a child. And while a guardian ad litems final conclusions with regard to what they recommend for a child is not binding on a court, they are highly persuasive to courts when they do give those recommendations.
Guardian ad litems can be a wonderful tool when you have a highly contested matter and there are real concerns about your children. If you have more questions about guardian ad litems or about your case in general, give us a call. I'm Dave Ward with The Ward Law Firm and we help parents protect those things that are most important.