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Appointment of a Guardian Ad Litem

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If you have minor children and are going through a divorce in the state of Georgia, there is a possibility that if you can not reach a consensus regarding child custody that the court may appoint a guardian ad litem.  A court appoints a guardian ad litem to act in the best interests of the child. While this can seem like an overwhelming or frightening experience, learning more about the duties of a guardian ad litem will help you understand how it can be a positive experience and help the divorce process.

Guardian Ad Litem Appointment

A court in the state of Georgia may appoint a neutral third-party called a guardian ad litem, to legally represent the best interests of a minor child regarding their custody or welfare within a divorce. The guardian ad litem does not work on behalf of either parent, but instead only for the welfare of the child. Neglect and abuse do not have to be present for a guardian ad litem to be appointed. Oftentimes, a guardian ad litem is appointed by the court when the parents of the child can not agree on custody arrangements.

Powers of a Guardian Ad Litem

A guardian ad litem has complete and full authority to analyze and investigate the living conditions, circumstances, family relationships, friend relationships and background, regarding the minor child. A guardian ad litem will typically visit with family members or friends of the spouses and ask personal questions regarding the living conditions and emotional environment of the child. If a family member or friend does not cooperate willingly, they may be subpoenaed by the court. At the conclusion of their investigation, a guardian ad litem will issue a recommendation regarding child custody, visitation, or any other matters related to the minor child’s safety.

Can You Reject the Guardian Ad Litem’s Decision? 

As a parent, you may feel anxious or angry that another party is coming into your life to make a determination regarding the best interest of your child. This intrusive investigation can frustrate many parents. While you should work with a guardian ad litem in a cooperative manner, you are legally allowed by law to disqualify and reject one guardian ad litem that is appointed by the court. Any rejection of a guardian ad litem after that must be proved through significant and verifiable reasons.

The report issued to the court by the guardian ad litem does not have to be automatically adopted by both parents. You have the right to present your own custody and visitation schedule and present your own witnesses and evidence illustrating why you believe the guardian ad litem’s decisions were in error or inaccurate. Ultimately, it will be the judge that will decide the best interest of the child based on all of the evidence.

Contact an Experienced Family Law Attorney

If you are in the divorce process, and a guardian ad litem has been appointed, contact an experienced family law attorney to help you through the process. The best thing you can do if you’re worried about a child custody conflict or how to handle the appointment of a guardian ad litem is to visit with an experienced family law attorney.  Don’t hesitate to reach out to the Atlanta family attorneys at the Solomon Firm.  Call 404-565-0641 today for a free consultation.

Resource:

oca.georgia.gov/training/guardian-ad-litem-juvenile-court-dependency-proceedings

https://www.thesolomonfirm.com/frequently-asked-questions-about-guardianships/

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