In some child custody cases, a judge appoints a guardian ad litem, or GAL. This professional advocates for the child. Their main role involves investigating the child’s situation and recommending to the court what would best serve the child’s interests, as outlined in the Texas Family Code regarding GAL appointments.
Education and Experience
A GAL may have a degree in psychology and extensive experience with child custody laws. Or, a court-appointed attorney might serve as a GAL. They understand deeply how these legal proceedings can impact a child. They use their knowledge and skills to advocate for the child’s best interests.
A GAL’s responsibilities are varied. They meet with and interview the child, family, and any other relevant parties to gather information about the child’s circumstances. If necessary, they may request studies or investigations. They might suggest psychological evaluations for family members. In court, they attend hearings. They make formal recommendations to the judge about the best outcome for the child. Furthermore, they facilitate meetings between the judge and the child, guiding the child through the legal process.
Guardian ad litems typically charge by the hour and require an upfront retainer. The upfront retainer usually starts at $2,500.00 to $5,000.00. The Judge has discretion to make the person requesting it pay $100% or to split the cost between the parties.
Contact The Blacknall Firm
Are you facing a family law issue and need representation? Contact the Blacknall Firm today. Our team of experienced family law attorneys dedicate themselves to helping our clients achieve the best possible outcome in their cases. We are ready to put our skills and knowledge to work for you. Moreover, we offer services in divorce, child support, and modifications.