Guardians ad Litem: Answering Your Legal Questions
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Deciding how your family will be restructured to best meet the needs of your children during and after divorce or upon a court determination of paternity is perhaps the most important decision you, as a parent, will make. Legal custody, physical placement, and child support issues must be decided to ensure that your children's needs continue to be met. If parents have disagreements, they must participate in mediation to help them resolve issues. If parents still don't agree, the judge will appoint a guardian ad litem (GAL) to assist the judge in making custody, placement, and support decisions. This brochure answers commonly asked questions about the guardian ad litem's role in the divorce or paternity process.
The information covered:
- What is a guardian ad litem (GAL)?
- What determines whether a GAL becomes involved in a case?
- How is a GAL appointed?
- What is the GAL’s role?
- Will the GAL meet with my child and me?
- How does the GAL investigate issues that affect my child?
- What factors does the GAL consider in the investigation?
- What happens when the GAL completes the investigation?
- Who pays for the GAL?
- Can I change GALs?
- How long will the GAL be involved in my case?