Elkouri Heath, PLC


39555 Orchard Hill Place, Suite 215, Novi, MI 48375

What Does a Guardian Ad Litem Do?

 Posted on November 22, 2023 in Family Law

MI custody lawyerSome parents become nervous when they find out that a guardian ad litem has been assigned to their child custody case. If you have been informed that a guardian ad litem will be involved, you should know that this is perfectly normal. A GAL is brought in almost every time a child custody case is contested. Really, the only way to avoid having one brought in is to agree to a parenting plan with your child’s other parent. A GAL is there to help the court determine what type of parenting time arrangement and allocation of parental responsibilities would be best for your child. A judge can only learn so much by asking your child a few questions in court, but a GAL can conduct a much more thorough investigation. It is important to be represented by a well-qualified child custody lawyer during these proceedings. 

A Guardian Ad Litem Investigates 

There are certain factors the court is required to consider when making decisions about child custody. Factors like how your child is doing in their current home, school, and community can be very important to the court. But how does the court know how well your child is doing at home, in school, or in their extracurriculars? This is where a GAL comes in. A GAL has much more time to talk with your children and, sometimes, those around them in order to get a clear picture of how some of these factors apply to your child. 

A Guardian Ad Litem is Trained to Work With Kids

Judges are experts in the law, not necessarily in child psychology. There is some variance in how “good with kids” judges in the family law courts are. On the other hand, guardian ad litems are specifically trained to work with children. They are very good at getting children to give them the information they need. 

Are you worried about the other parent “coaching” your children on what to say? You probably do not need to be. Guardian ad litems can often recognize when a child has been instructed on what to say. It is often obvious to these highly-trained specialists when a child is merely parroting a parent. They may struggle to answer pointed questions they had not “practiced” for. 

It is best for parents to simply allow the GAL to perform their job. If you feel that their findings are inaccurate, this should be addressed promptly with your attorney. 

Contact a Novi, MI, Child Custody Lawyer

Elkouri Heath, PLC is dedicated to helping parents resolve their child custody disputes. Our caring team of Oakland County, MI, child custody attorneys will work to maximize your parenting time going forward. Contact us at 248-344-9700 for a complimentary consultation. 

Share this post:
Oakland County Bar Association State Bar of Michigan Collaborative Practice Institute of Michigan WCCDBA Woman Lawyers Association of Michigan
Back to Top