Role of a New Haven Guardian ad Litem
Going through a custody dispute can be difficult. It can be hard to remove other aspects from custody, for example, if your relationship has ended, it can be an issue for almost anyone to separate that from custody related issues.
The lines can get blurred about what is important to you and what is necessary for your child. Connecticut Courts recognize that at times, parents may not be unbiased enough to recognize what custody arrangement is best for the child.
This is when a judge may appoint a guardian ad litem (GAL).The role of a New Haven guardian ad litem is to serve as a neutral, third party that will only focus on what the best interest of the child during the dispute. If you want to know more about the benefits of a guardian ad litem, consult an experienced divorce lawyer.
Procedural Issues for a GAL
The divorcing parties should be aware that if a GAL is appointed to a custody or visitation based dispute, the parties will have to submit a financial affidavit to the court that outlines their finances.
Using this information, the courts will allocate how much each parent must pay for the GAL. In some cases, if the parents cannot afford to pay a GAL but still require one, the state will pay for it through the Division of Public Defender Services.
Requesting Removal of a Guardian ad Litem
Neutrality is essential to the role of a New Haven guardian ad litem. If a person is currently involved in a case where a guardian ad litem has been appointed but believe they are not acting impartially a parent can request their removal. To do this, one of the parents’ lawyers will need to file a motion to remove the GAL.
This will move the issue to the Family Services Unit to see if the parties can resolve this issue on their own. If they cannot, the issue will go to a hearing where the judge will decide whether or not to remove the GAL.
The guardian ad litem in a divorce case should move forward in a timely manner while also keeping accurate records of their findings and fees. More importantly, they should be impartial, fair and without a conflict of interest. When dealing with all parties they should be professional, courteous, and behave in good faith.
Appointment of a Guardian ad Litem
The responsibility of a GAL is to represent the best interests of the children, even if the children involved disagree. This role is different from that of an Attorney for the Child who does advocate for the child and what they want.
The GAL makes recommendations, not judgments, for the court about what they believe is the best interest of the child. To do this, the GAL has a number of duties to perform including:
- Investigating the matter
- Reviewing records and files
- Speaking to coaches, teachers or anyone who interacts with the child
- Obtaining information from medical professionals (such as the child’s pediatrician or therapist)
- Participate in court proceedings
- Provide the court with the GALs recommendations
- Encourage the parents to settle their disagreements
How a New Haven Family Lawyer Can Help
If you believe that a GAL will be appointed to your case, or are requesting one, you should be fully aware of what that entails, Know the role of a New Haven guardian ad litem, and what their responsibilities are, will allow you to reap the most benefit from your GAL. You should also figure out if you will be able to afford the GAL with the other parent, or if you will need to apply for a state-appointed one.
Your New Haven child custody attorney can help you prepare so that the GAL will have all the necessary information from you to show that the custody arrangement you are requesting is in the best interest of your child.