When Can a Guardian ad Litem Be Assigned to My Divorce Trial?
A guardian ad litem is a trained professional who can be assigned to your divorce case to handle aspects like child custody, child support, domestic violence, and child abuse. These professionals can make a large impact on the outcomes of your divorce trial, but there are only certain circumstances in which they might be appointed to your case. Knowing these circumstances and what the guardian ad litem will do can help you better prepare for your divorce trial. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to an Oklahoma Family Lawyer.
When a Guardian Ad Litem Will be Appointed
There are certain situations where a guardian ad litem is almost always appointed in a divorce case and other situations where the chances of a guardian ad litem being appointed are unclear. For example, almost every divorce case that involves child custody decisions also involves a guardian ad litem. Many guardians ad litem are counselors or psychologists, but some may have less training. This all depends on local rules and what guardians ad litem are in your area.
In legal terms, a guardian ad litem is appointed by a family court when a person involved is a minor or legally incompetent to make decisions. When it comes to making important decisions about child custody, the court deems the guardian ad litem responsible for listening to and upholding the child’s best interests. By doing this, the child’s voice is not completely left out of the decision.
However, some courts may appoint an incompetent guardian ad litem. When this happens, you may want to talk with a lawyer about your legal options. An incompetent guardian ad litem may jeopardize your chances of receiving a fair trial. You do not have to let this happen.
What to Expect from a Guardian ad Litem
Knowing what to expect when a guardian ad litem is assigned to your case can help ease any tensions or uncertainties you may be feeling about this. The tasks of a guardian ad litem involve:
- Investigate the family situation and the child’s perspective
- Write a thorough GAL report that details what the guardian ad litem did and what they recommend for the divorce case
- Interview any minors involved in the case
- Interview the parents
In short, the guardian ad litem will make recommendations about visitation time, which parent the child should be raised by, which parent can make legal decisions for the child, whether a parent requires supervision, and whether requirements need to be met for a parent to be with the child. You have the right to challenge this GAL report and a lawyer might be able to help you with that.
Divorce Attorney in Oklahoma
Fighting against a false or exaggerated GAL report is not easy when professionals are working against you. Consider hiring an Oklahoma Divorce Lawyer if you are concerned about losing your rights to your children. Call the Putnam Law Office today at (405)-849-9149 for a consultation. Mr. Putnam is an Oklahoma City, OK attorney who is dedicated to his clients.