The best interests of a child are provided in cases involving parental rights, divorce, and responsibilities. A person is appointed by the court and is referred to as a 'Guardian ad litem' or 'GAL.' It could involve hiring GAL for a person or child who is disabled, and it is difficult to understand the individual. It will make it easier to understand the case being presented to the court.
Independent investigations are held with parents and other caregivers. The guardian ad litem can speak with the child and any family members, teachers, or counselors involved with the case. The worker will lend advice, but the judge doesn't have to adhere to the terms of the request.
The Best Interest
Other cases include child support, adoption, and emancipation that will use GAL as a fact finder for the court system. The child's preference isn't considered but decisions are made for what is best for the child or children. When GAL is hired, in most cases, the parents have to assume the cost of the worker. However, some workers will work for free.
The responsibilities to be discussed involve where the child or children will live for the majority of the time. Decisions are made deeming how limited the contact will be with the opposing parent. If substance abuse is an issue, GAL will provide the answers if the child is being harmed by one or both of the parents.
Some cases may involve a court-appointed guardian for parents who are 'allegedly incapacitated.' This can occur if a child sues the court for this reason. A guardian can be appointed as well as for the best interest of the parent.
Issues with GAL
Usually, GAL is regulated by local and state laws. This causes some conflict on how uniform the laws are concerning how guardians experience is based. It depends on what qualifications and training were involved resulting in differences in duties and in the end, the compensation allotted for the worker. The fees can fluctuate from area to area, not only from state to state.
The child's needs are handled by a guardian and the guardian ad litem doesn't take physical care, but only advises the court concerning the child's best interest. Don't get it confused with the guardian that does take care of the child. Sometimes, the judge or other individuals use guardian for short but the two are very different. Children cannot always make good choices. Therefore, someone is appointed to do it for them. Contact a local lawyer, such as Adair Brian, for further assistance.