Guardian ad Litem: What is the Role of a Child Guardian ad Litem?

During a divorce that involves children, the court appoints a representative to ensure the child’s best interests. Here is the role of a child guardian.

Are you going through a divorce with children?

Is your former partner acting without regard for the best interest of your child?

Has the other party filed a motion to request the appointment of a guardian ad litem?

Divorce can be hard, especially when there’s children involved. One of the ways the courts protect children through divorce is by appointing a guardian ad litem.

Keep reading to learn more about the role of the child guardian ad litem and why they are important. 

What Is a Child Guardian ad Litem?

To put it simply, a guardian ad litem (GAL) is responsible for protecting the interests of a minor child.

The guardian ad litem makes a recommendation to the court on issues including custody of the child, parenting time agreements, and visitation rights. It’s important to note that a guardian ad litem doesn’t work for either party.

They remain neutral and unbiased so that they can make the best decisions for the child(ren) involved. 

In Ohio, a guardian ad litem is appointed according to Ohio Revised Code 2151.281(B)(2)(b). This code gives the court the power to appoint a guardian ad litem to protect the interests of a minor child whenever there is a conflict between the dependent’s parents, custodian, or guardian. 

What Does a Guardian ad Litem Do?

Rule 48 of Superintendence for the Courts of Ohio governs the standards for a child guardian ad litem. The guardian ad litem will investigate the issues the court is facing regarding the children and report those findings back to the court. They will then make a recommendation for the best solution to the issue.

During the course of their investigation, they will meet with both parties, visit the parties’ homes, observe each party with the children, and even speak to the children when appropriate.

They may also talk to the child’s teachers, other members of the child’s family, and professionals like doctors and counselors. After gathering this information, the guardian ad litem will put together a custody and parenting time plan to present to the court.

While their recommendation holds weight with the court, they do not have the final say. The court will take all evidence presented into consideration before making a decision. 

Appointing a Guardian at Litem

Those going through a divorce will face many battles. It’s important to keep the best interest of your child(ren) in mind.

You can request that a guardian ad litem be appointed through your attorney. This can be especially helpful when your child’s other parent is not acting in their best interest. 

Are You Going Through a Messy Divorce With Children?

Understanding the job of the guardian ad litem is important for both parties. The child guardian ad item is impartial and has the job of making a recommendation based on their investigation that is in the best interest of the child. Either party can request a guardian ad litem.

They will not give legal advice, so it’s important to work closely with your attorney throughout your case. If you’re going through a messy divorce and need legal advice, we are here for you.

Contact us today for a consultation.