Why Would You Need a Guardian ad Litem?

A Guardian ad Litem is a person who is appointed by a Florida court. The Guardian ad Litem appointed will essentially serve as a child’s protector and advocate. His or her role is only that of serving the child and acting as the voice of the child for court hearings or when dealing with social services. A Guardian ad Litem serves a vital role in many different situations. 

Why It Is Important to Have a Guardian ad Litem

In some cases, a court will appoint a Guardian ad Litem on its own. This will occur in cases where a child is involved and there is a suspicion that one or both parents are struggling with substance abuse. The appointment may also be made if there is a suspicion that either of the parents has been physically abusive. An appointment may also be made if the child is displaying certain at-risk behaviors or has been found delinquent.

In the event of divorce proceedings, a Guardian ad Litem may be appointed when parents cannot reach an agreement on what is in the best interest of the child. There can be heated disputes when it comes to the well-being of a child and those are the cases where a Guardian ad Litem may be appointed as their sole role in the process is to report on what he or she determines to be in the best interests of the child.

In certain cases, you and the child’s other parent may agree to file an order appointing a Guardian ad Litem in your case. The order will be sent to the judge for his or her signature. In the alternative, if your spouse does not agree with such an appointment, you may file your motion for appointment of a Guardian ad Litem. The motion will then be heard and the judge will rule on it.

There could be several reasons why you may want to consider having a Guardian ad Litem appointed for your child in your case. Again, the role of the Guardian ad Litem is to advocate on behalf of the best interests of your child. This means that, if you are asking for what is really in the best interest of your child, the Guardian ad Litem will side with your position. This can go a long way in court. The Guardian ad Litem is a third party in the case who is tasked with launching an investigation into what is best for the child and then makes informed determinations that are then reported back to the judge.

On the other side of things, if the other parent is asking something that is not in the child’s best interest, the Guardian ad Litem would likely recognize that. The determination would, in turn, be reported back to the judge. This means that there is an extra check in the process of keeping both parties in line. Additionally, the possibility of a Guardian ad Litem being appointed or having one appointed may deter the other parent from continuing to make unreasonable requests and encourage them to resolve the case.

Florida Family Law Attorneys

If you have more questions about a Guardian ad Litem and if one would be or not be beneficial to have in your case, talk to the dedicated family law attorneys at Orlando Family Team. We are here to answer your questions and provide you with trusted legal counsel on a variety of family law matters. Contact us today.

About the Author
Andrew Nickolaou, Esq., B.C.S., is a founding partner at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou, P.A. He practices almost exclusively in divorce, marital and family law. Andrew and his partner, Ophelia Bernal-Mora, Esq., B.C.S., joined forces in March 2016 to form the unique and boutique husband and wife family law team at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou, P.A. Together, Andrew and Ophelia take a practical and team-based approach to all of their cases and clients to deliver the highest quality experience and representation.