The role of the Guardian ad Litem (GAL), usually an attorney, is one who acts as an advocate for the child, providing to the judge a forthright, third-party perspective in the entire duration of cases when minors are involved. Having this third-party representation provides an immeasurable service to custody and support cases, where the best interest of the children is paramount.
Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia defines the role of the Guardian ad litem as “The role of counsel for a child is the representation of the child’s legitimate interests. When appointed for a child, the guardian ad litem shall vigorously represent the child, fully protecting the child’s interest and welfare. The guardian ad litem shall advise the court of the wishes of the child in any case where the wishes of the child conflict with the opinion of the guardian ad litem as to what is in the child’s interest and welfare.” (8.3)
Vigorous is the key. In addition to serving as the child’s attorney when necessary, the GAL acts ‘behind-the-scenes’ as an investigator and witness from the beginning of court process to resolution of your matter. The GAL has the right to talk to whoever—attorneys on both sides, parents, doctors, teachers—all to the effect of advocating for your child’s best interests.
The purpose and role of the GAL is absolutely positive, and here at Smith Strong PLC we work closely with you and the GAL to help you get the right answers. We encourage you to give us a call at (804) 325-1245 and set up your consultation with one of our Virginia attorneys to answer all of your legal questions.
Disclaimer: Please note every case is different, therefore, this article should not be construed as legal advice or replace an attorney-client relationship.