The KJ Law Firm offers Guardian Ad Litem services in Montgomery, the River Region, and throughout Alabama.
At The KJ Law Firm, we understand that protecting someone’s rights is a serious matter, especially a child caught in the middle of a hotly contested custody or visitation dispute.
What is a Guardian Ad Litem?
A Guardian Ad Litem, commonly abbreviated as GAL, is an attorney who the court appoints to represent the best interests of a child or children in divorce cases.
Often, this is done when the two spouses cannot come to an agreement on custody or visitation, although the court can appoint a Guardian ad Litem in any divorce case.
If you’re getting divorced, we will work with your spouse’s attorney to ensure that your rights are protected and that your wishes are known.
Court Appointed Guardian
Kristine Jones understands the duties and responsibilities of a Court Appointed Guardian.
As an experienced family law lawyer, she and her associates at The KJ Law Firm will advocate and protect the best interests of the innocent parties, the minor children, while litigation is pending or ongoing.
Kristine will work with your spouse and their attorney to reach an agreement she can present to the court as a solution to the dispute.
What Does a Guardian ad Litem Do?
The Guardian ad Litem speaks on behalf of your child or children.
They are fully licensed attorneys who have completed additional training in order to serve in this role.
They advocate for what they see as the best interested of the children involved in the case. Duties they perform might include:
- Subpoena witnesses
- Examine and cross-examine witnesses called in your divorce case
- Offer their own testimony
Cases like these involve three sides, the plaintiff, the defendant, and the Guardian ad Litem, instead of the usual two.
A GAL is a legal expert who can file motions and may report back to the court at the end of the case before the final decision is made. They can also meet with all parties involved, including the child or children, and interview them.
The court will take this report into account while deciding custody, but they don’t have to follow the Guardian ad Litem’s recommendations.
Determining the Child’s Best Interests
It’s important to remember that the Guardian ad Litem will present what they see as the child’s best interests to the court.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that they find you or your spouse to be a bad parent. It also doesn’t mean that they are arguing for what your child wants.
The Guardian ad Litem is under no obligation to take into account what children want in these cases.
However, the court does often listen to the child’s wishes and take them into account when determining custody.