Guardian Ad Litem – Defined – When an independent and neutral person is appointed by a court of law to act in a lawsuit on behalf of another party who is deemed incapable of representing him or herself, that person is referred to as a Guardian Ad Litem.
Ad Litem is Latin for “for the suit.” The primary objective for whoever accepts this role is to protect the best interest of the person they are representing, which is typically a child but can also be an adult who has been incapacitated and needs someone to watch over their situation and make sound decisions.
Examples of family law cases where a Guardian Ad Litem may be appointed include:
- Adoption, child support, or contested child custody cases
- Cases involving visitation rights
- Estate planning
- Emancipation of a minor child
As we all know, emotions can run high in a legal battle. A Guardian Ad Litem is not directly tied to the case, which allows them to see past emotion and make logical decisions based on fact to encourage a speedier and more healthy resolution to the case. Those who qualify as a Guardian Ad Litem can be a volunteer advocate, counselor, social worker, or another court-approved adult.
They may not have previously represented. Any party in the case and will not have any authority over a person’s assets.
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Source: Nelson Law Group