Guardians Ad Litem in Washington
Family law issues that involve children are typically decided based on "the best interests of the child(ren)." One would expect parents to primarily be concerned about this as well, but parents, extended family members and other caretakers also often have their own agendas in family law disputes.
To best represent the interests of children or adults who are not able to make legal decisions for themselves, the court appoints a Guardian ad Litem (GAL). This individual provides neutral information to the court so that the court may then make favorable decisions for the child or incapacitated adult.
Focused On Your Family's Needs
At Alpine Family Law, we help families protect their interests when dealing with Guardians ad Litem and personal decisions about their loved ones.
We have a reputation for excellence in litigation, and will not hesitate to use our trial skills when our clients need an aggressive approach. Still, our experience has shown that many cases can and should be resolved outside of court. Negotiation often leaves more decision-making in our clients' hands — a favorable position for parents and children.
No matter what strategy is employed to resolve your case, we will keep you informed and make ourselves available to address your concerns.
What Can I Expect When A Guardian Ad Litem Visits My Home Or Family?
A Guardian ad Litem serves the court in a fiduciary capacity, acting as a representative of a minor child. This typically happens when a child's safety and security is called into question during divorce or custody proceedings. As a result, he or she needs to provide information that is not biased in favor of either parent or another caretaker.
When a Guardian ad Litem comes to a home, he or she will be evaluating things like:
- The condition of the home and living environment: Is the house safe for a child to be in physically?
- The parent or caretaker's interaction with the child: Is the parent actively interacting with the child? Is the interaction positive? How does the child react to the parent?
- Guidance and disciplinary actions used by the parent: Does the parent provide useful guidance to the child? Are disciplinary actions too aggressive or violent? Does the child respond to the parent's efforts to discipline?
- Alcohol, substance abuse or individuals of interest: Does the parent have an unhealthy relationship with illegal or controlled substances? Is he or she seeking treatment? Do other individuals frequent the home and does the child have positive interactions with these individuals?
Having your parenting skills evaluated by a court-ordered professional can be intimidating and seem unfair. Remember that a Guardian ad Litem is there to make sure your child is properly taken care of.
Discuss your case with a lawyer at our firm in Redmond, Washington, to better understand your options and what to expect when a Guardian ad Litem gets involved in your custody or visitation case.
Call us at (425) 276-7677 today.
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