What Is a Guardian Ad Litem?

In the state of Utah, it is becoming increasingly common in custody cases for the Court to appoint a guardian ad litem. But what exactly does that mean? In this blog, we discuss the answer to this question.

A guardian ad litem, most commonly referred to as just a “guardian,” is an attorney appointed by the Court to represent the best interests of the disputing parties’ children. A guardian does not owe a duty to the parents, and instead, owes a duty to the children. In short, a guardian ad litem is an attorney for the children involved in a custody case.

When Is a Guardian Ad Litem Appointed?

A guardian can be appointed for any number of reasons, such as:

  • To investigate whether abuse has occurred
  • To determine the children’s needs
  • To meet with and communicate with any therapists
  • To interview the children
  • To interview witnesses and review relevant records pertaining to the child and the child’s family, including medical, psychological, and school records,
  • To determine the child’s goals and concerns regarding visitation and parent-time

Once the guardian has completed their investigation, they will make recommendations to the Court on what they believe to be in the children’s best interests.

Who Pays for a Guardian Ad Litem?

More often than not, the Court will appoint a private guardian, meaning that it is the responsibility of the parties to pay for the guardian’s time and efforts involved in the case. This can be a significant expense, which is why both parties need to seriously consider if they really want to ask the Court to appoint a guardian.

A guardian can be incredibly helpful in divorce cases because they have the ability to help all parties involved reach a resolution that is in their children’s best interests. However, this decision should only be made after careful consideration of all the pros and cons associated with having a guardian appointed to your case. If you think a guardian ad litem will help speed up your divorce proceedings, make sure to consult with an experienced family law attorney before committing to a decision.

Let Our Family Law Attorneys in Salt Lake City Assist You

At Just Law, we have a team of experienced lawyers who are dedicated to helping families throughout Salt Lake City find the peace of mind they deserve. We offer effective solutions and we are passionate about protecting out client’s rights and interests.

Our motivated legal professionals can guide you through every aspect of your case to ensure you are prepared for the road ahead. Whether you need help dividing assets or determining child custody arrangements, we are here for you.

Call (801) 701-3522, or contact our team in Salt Lake City to set up your free case consultation. Don’t hesitate, call today.
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