2. The GAL may ask about their home life, how things are going at school, or their relationships with other family members. COME TO YOUR GUARDIAN AD LITEM MEETING PREPARED: Bring your Court papers, Orders or any other relevant documents. If divorcing, separated, or unmarried parents are unable to reach an agreement about how to share or divide the responsibilities of raising their children, the amount of time the children will spend with each parent, or other, issues related to the custody of their children. Make notes of what questions you were asked and what you answered. In other words, think about how you can give the Guardian ad litem a good snapshot of your child and your relationship with your child. A Guardian Ad Litem, or GAL, is a person appointed by the court to act as a neutral third party and make recommendations to the judge in the best interests of the children in a court proceeding. Do Not Argue with the Guardian ad Litem. 1. Remember once a. Telling your child what to say to his Guardian ad litem is even a worse idea! 5. 6 Tips For Working with Your Child’s Guardian ad litem, What divorce looks like when one spouse doesn’t live in Virginia, Two reasons new parents should get an estate plan, Switching lanes? You should speak with your divorce attorney about whether you should request that a guardian ad litem be appointed, and your lawyer can help you understand the best ways to respond during a GAL’s investigation, while helping you take the right steps to protect your rights and reach an outcome that provides for your children’s best interests. Typically, the appointment of a guardian ad litem will extend the length of a divorce or child custody case by 90-120 days overall. When speaking to a GAL, you should always be honest and forthright, demonstrating that you are willing to put your children’s best interests first. The Guardian ad Litem will interview your children's teachers and see if you ever spoke to them or went to parent teacher conferences. and show that you can be relied upon to provide for your family’s needs. Remember- the Guardian ad litem is not your lawyer/therapist/social worker/friend – so don’t use your time to “vent” or talk about all the things you don’t like about your child’s other parent. Learn more. Reese then went on to Law School and graduated from FCSL December of 2009 with Honors. The guardian ad litem will make a custody recommendation to the court, and while the recommendation is not determinative of the outcome of the case, the court will rely on what the guardian recommends. Most Guardian ad Litems are fair-minded lawyers who will listen to you and provide a fair assessment of your case. Disclaimer | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Business Development Solutions by FindLaw, part of Thomson Reuters. The guardian ad litem will likely ask to speak with both parents and may request certain documents. © 2020 Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio 15 North Lincoln Street, Hinsdale, IL 60521 630-920-8855. Having lawyers on your side who have experience with these matters will go a long way towards ensuring that your case goes as smooth as possible. Be a good provider and make sure you pay child support, if ordered. Be Prepared for Your Guardian ad Litem's Pointed Questions. Not registered yet? 6. Also watch: 7 Most Common Reasons for Divorce. Depending on the complexity of the case and the issues to be resolved, a GAL investigation may last at least one to two months. Remember- the Guardian ad litem is not your lawyer/therapist/social worker/friend – so don’t use your time to “vent” or talk about all the things you don’t like about your child’s other parent. Schedule your free consolation by calling 630-920-8855 today. Do Not Tell Your Children What to Say to the Guardian ad Litem. BE HONEST and LET HER DO HER JOB: The Guardian ad litem doesn’t know anything about you or your child. A guardian ad litem can be beneficial in cases where a parent is concerned about children’s safety while in the care of the other parent or when conflict between parents has become too intense to resolve through negotiation or mediation. 3. By continuing to browse the site you consent to the use of cookies. All Rights Reserved. A guardian ad litem may not be sworn in as a witness. Make an outline of the things you want to say and the point you want to get across. Bowen Ten PC is available to both existing and new clients by phone, email and other means. Remember that in most cases, the legal system believes that it is in children’s best interests for them to have a close and continuing relationship with both parents. When interacting with the GAL, you should be respectful and courteous. During your home visit, the GAL may wish to observe you spending time with your children. The more you comply with and engages in inquiries from … You will want to show that you are willing to cooperate and encourage your children to have a good relationship with the other parent. In most cases, the Guardian ad Litem will interview your children and oftentimes the Guardian will speak to them independently. Likewise, engage in professional behavior with your Guardian ad Litem and try not to miss/cancel appointments with them. They may also contact others who can offer insight into the case, such as family members, neighbors, teachers, doctors, or, How long does a Guardian Ad Litem investigation take. A good divorce or custody lawyer can prepare you in advance. 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However, if one party is at a financial disadvantage or is reliant on spousal support or child support paid by the other party, they may ask for the other party to pay a higher percentage of the costs related to the GAL. The GAL’s recommendations carry significant weight with the court because the GAL typically conducts an investigation before they come before the court. In these cases, it is best to interact with your children as you normally do, showing that you are an attentive parent who is focused on their best interests. If the Guardian ad Litem discovers that you were lying, your credibility will be diminished and you will likely have a difficult time reestablishing trust going forward. This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. After some medical issues, a long recovery, and some soul searching, Reese opened up Krajniak Law Group in 2016. Her job is to conduct an independent investigation and not just rely on the “he said/she said” information she receives. It is rare that you will be included in the meeting. Either party may ask for a GAL to be appointed, or the judge may decide to appoint a GAL to investigate the case and provide recommendations about how matters related to the spouses’ children should be resolved. After gathering all relevant information, the guardian ad litem will offer recommendations to the judge about how to resolve the outstanding disputes. In addition to showing that you have a clean, safe home, you will want to demonstrate that you will be able to prepare meals and meet your children’s nutritional needs, that you have space for them to sleep and play, and that you have room to store their clothes, toys, and other items. 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