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What Is a Guardian Ad Litem?

A Georgia court can appoint a Guardian Ad Litem in a child custody dispute to represent the best interest of the children who are involved in the dispute. A Guardian Ad Litem is an attorney who must meet certain qualifications in order to serve in this capacity, which are outlined at length in Georgia court rules. When appointed, a Guardian Ad Litem must investigate the children’s lives and make recommendations to the court on what custody and visitation arrangements would be in the children’s best interests.

The appointment of a Guardian Ad Litem is reserved for the most contested of child custody cases, such as those in which one parent has accused the other of child abuse or neglect, or one in which the parents have a highly contentious relationship and cannot agree on any issue related to their children. If a Guardian Ad Litem is appointed in your case, you can expect home visits, extensive interviews with the parents and children, school visits, and even access to medical, school, and even mental health records. The Guardian Ad Litem must use all of this evidence to make a recommendation to the court about the best interests of the children.

The services of a Guardian Ad Litem come at a cost. Most Guardian Ad Litems charge a standard hourly rate that is clearly disclosed at the beginning of his or her appointment. The judge may order one party to pay the fees or order the parties to both be responsible for the fees in some manner.

Engaging in a child custody battle can be a complex process that involves many significant legal, financial, and emotional issues. Therefore, it is best for anyone in this situation to consult with a qualified Georgia child custody lawyer who can guide him or her throughout the process and place him or her in the best position to successfully resolve the case.

Contact us or call today to learn how Shaw Law can work with you to achieve the best outcome possible for you and your children.

Scott Shaw is founder and principle of Shaw Law Firm LLC, founded in 1995 and dedicated solely to divorce, family law and child custody matters that must be addressed and decided in the state of Georgia. Shaw Law Firm serves the greater Metro Atlanta area, particularly the counties of Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb, Cherokee, Forsyth, Paulding, Henry, Fayette, Coweta, Newton, Walton, Bartow and Douglas. Schedule a consultation today at 770-594-8309.