The best interests of the child are the primary guide for custody issues during a California divorce.
In the heat of the divorce process, though, when tensions and emotions are often running high, it can be difficult for the court to sort through the noise and determine what’s truly is in the child’s best interest.
For such situations, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem to serve as a representative of the child.
That’s not, however, the only time such a representative can take part in your divorce process
What is a Guardian Ad Litem?
Simply put, a guardian ad litem is an adult appointee of the court to convey the best interest of someone for a set period of time.
With legal authority granted by the law, a guardian ad litem is usually associated with the child custody issues during a divorce. However, a guardian ad litem can also represent the interests of someone – including an adult – not mentally capable of advocating for themselves in just about any legal matter.
Usually appointed at the request of a judge or either parent, a guardian ad litem can be anyone over the age of 18. Before being confirmed, though, the person must be approved by the court overseeing the case.
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How Does a Guardian Ad Litem do Their Job?
A good analogy of the role of a guardian ad litem is that of an independent investigator.
If appointed to determine the best interest of a child during a divorce, the guardian ad litem can gather information from a host of sources, including interviews with parents, teachers and other adults who may have insight into the situation.
A guardian ad litem can also play a vital during the legal process of a divorce, including:
- Filing motions and other pleadings on behalf of the child
- Reporting any perceived threats to the child’s well-being to court officials
- Actively participate in court hearings and proceedings that affect the interests of the child.
Is a Guardian Ad Litem Appointed in Every California Divorce Involving Children?
No. In fact, when one is appointed, it’s usually because tensions have risen substantially during the process or accusations have been made about either or both parents.
Keep in mind that if a guardian ad litem is appointed to your case, that person will most likely be present for much of your case.
The best way to keep the court from appointing a guardian ad litem in your case, it’s best to do all you can to avoid any arguments that may spin out of control, and try your best to keep you cool and resolve the issue with your spouse or partner.
For More Information About Divorce Options in California, Call the San Diego Divorce Lawyers at the Men’s Legal Center.
The process of a divorce can take a toll on just about anyone. With stress levels and emotions often running high, a skilled divorce lawyer can take much of the weight off your shoulders.