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In contested child custody cases, one way for a court to help determine the best interests of a child is through the help of a guardian ad litem. As opposed to an attorney ad litem, a guardian ad litem is generally not an attorney but someone with a background in education or child welfare. The guardian ad litem provides the court with a neutral, third party view of what’s best for the children.
A guardian ad litem will generally interview the child, family members, and others who have significant contacts with the child. The guardian ad litem can also examine school and medical records. The guardian ad litem then reports back to the court giving his or her opinion as to what is in the child’s best interest.
Either party may request a guardian ad litem or the ad litem may be appointed by the court on its own. Parents should help the guardian ad litem by providing any relevant documents or other information sought by the ad litem.
The guardian ad litem doesn’t represent the child in court like an attorney ad litem does, but does provide the court with unique ability to evaluate the child’s circumstances in a setting less formal than court.
Michael Diaz is a Divorce and Family Law attorney in McKinney, Texas.
Providing effective and efficient solutions to Divorce, Custody, and Family Law clients in McKinney, Frisco, Allen, Plano, Melissa, Princeton, Prosper, Fairview, Celina and throughout Collin County.
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