A Guardian ad litem (GAL) is an advocate appointed by the Court to act on behalf of another party, most often used in child custody and divorce cases in order to represent the best interests of the child or children. (“Ad litem” means “for the suit,” meaning for the lawsuit.)
What are the Duties of a GAL?
In New Jersey, a guardian ad litem can be appointed by either the Court, either on its own motion or at the request of either parent in any court case where custody, parenting time, and visitation are contested. The GAL’s job is to investigate and then make recommendations to the judge regarding custody and visitation.
The GAL makes their recommendations based on the following:
- Interviews with the parents and children
- Interviews with other people with relevant information, such as family, friends, teachers, and social workers
- Documentary evidence, such as reports from doctors, teachers, social workers, psychologists, etc.
- Discussions with the judge in the case
- The parents’ attorneys’ arguments
- The recommendation of independent experts, including family psychologists and child custody evaluators
- Reports from child protective services if they are appointed due to a child who is subject to abuse, neglect, or termination of parental rights
Ready to Protect Your Rights in a Child Custody Dispute
Our client’s children are always our main concern. At Rozin | Golinder Law, we are committed to providing legal support across Middlesex, Monmouth, Somerset, and Union counties in New Jersey. Our East Brunswick divorce attorneys can review your case and determine all of your available legal options to obtain the most favorable outcome possible for you and most importantly your children.
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