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What Questions To Ask a Guardian Ad Litem

A blank notebook open to a page to record the responses to what questions to ask a guardian ad litem.

Learn what questions to ask a guardian ad litem to ensure that your interests are being properly represented.

Depending on the nature of your divorce, you may be need to involve a guardian ad litem in the process. Knowing what questions to ask a guardian ad litem to ensure your interests are properly represented can be important.

A guardian ad litem is defined as, “ a Court appointed investigator who, in matters of child custody disputes, is a professional with a mental health background or legal training and/or both. The guardian ad litem acts in a neutral fashion, as an extension of the Court, to interview, review documents and report to the court as to the family dynamics surrounding the current dispute. To the extent one parent admits to the guardian ad litem that they willfully interfered with the other parent’s custodial time, that statement will be memorialized in the final guardian ad litem Report and used as an exhibit at Trial.”

It is important to ask the guardian ad litem (GAL) relevant questions to ensure your interests are properly represented. Here are some questions you may want to consider asking:

— What is your role as a guardian ad litem, and what authority do you have in making recommendations or decisions regarding the custody and visitation arrangements?
— What information will you need from me?
— How will you gather this information?
— Can you explain the investigation process?
— How long do you anticipate the process will take?
— What factors do you consider when assessing the best interests of the child(ren) involved?
— Do you have experience with cases similar to mine?
— What is your relationship and communication with other professionals involved in the case, such as attorneys, therapists, or other experts?
— Will you be interviewing the children? If so, how will the interview be conducted?
— How can I obtain a written report of the investigation?
— Are you familiar with this court system?
— Can you provide references from previous cases?

This list of questions is not exhaustive, but will provide you with a good foundation upon which to build excellent and open communication with the GAL throughout the process.

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