A guardian ad litem, or GAL, is a professional appointed by a judge in some child custody cases to act as an advocate for the child. The GAL’s role is to investigate the child’s situation and make recommendations to the court about what is in the child’s best interests.

Education and Experience

  • A GAL can hold a degree in psychology and have extensive experience with child custody laws.
  • A GAL can also be an attorney appointed by the court.
  • They have a deep understanding of the impact that these legal proceedings can have on a child, and use their knowledge and skills to advocate for the child’s best interests.

Responsibilities

  • Meet with and interview the child, family, and any other relevant parties to gather information about the child’s circumstances.
  • Request studies or investigations as needed
  • Suggest psychological evaluations for family members if necessary.
  • Attend court hearings and make formal recommendations to the judge about what would be the best outcome for the child.
  • Facilitate meetings between the judge and the child, and help the child navigate the legal process.

Fees

Guardian ad litems typically charge by the hour and require an upfront retainer to be paid.

The upfront retainer typically starts at $2,500.00.

Conclusion

It is important to remember that the appointment of a GAL is meant to be in the best interests of the child.

If you need representation in your divorce or child custody case, feel free to schedule a consultation with someone on our team.