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The role of guardians ad litem in Ohio child custody cases

On Behalf of | May 17, 2024 | Child Custody

Navigating child custody cases can be very complex, but one important part of the process is understanding the role of a guardian ad litem (GAL). If you’re navigating a child custody case, it is important to understand how a GAL may come into play.

What is a guardian ad litem?

A guardian ad litem is a neutral third party appointed by the family law court to represent a child’s best interests in a custody hearing. GALs speak on behalf of the child in court and ensure that they consider the child’s needs and preferences. This advocacy gives minors a voice in these legal proceedings.

When is a GAL appointed?

When there are major disputes about the child’s well-being, appoint a GAL. High-conflict custody disputes occur when parents cannot agree on custody. In these cases, a guardian ad litem provides an unbiased perspective. In cases involving allegations of abuse or neglect, a GAL investigates the claims and reports their findings. This can provide vital clarity and logical perspective in these sensitive issues.

The investigation process

The GAL’s investigation is thorough and aims to show the whole picture of the child’s situation. GALs talk to the child, parents, and other key figures in the child’s life. They may visit the child’s home to watch interactions and living conditions or review school record, medical records, and any other relevant documents.

Guardians ad litem serve an important role

Understanding the role of a guardian ad litem is important when navigating child custody cases. Knowing how a GAL operates can help you better navigate the complexities of child custody cases and ensure that the child’s needs are always put first.