Guardian Ad Litem
Occasionally, litigation involving families requires another voice: that of the child. The Guardian ad litem learns the child’s needs through interviewing and research. The GaL then develops recommendations that serve the best interests of the child. The Guardian ad Litem intervenes to minimize the negative effects of the parental conflict and litigation on the child.
Process of the Guardian ad litem:
- In the initial phase a telephone call is made to each attorney to establish goals, develop parameters, and gather relevant information.
- During the second phase the parents are interviewed prior to the Guardian ad litem meeting the child.
- The third phase includes information gathering through telephone and personal interviews and requests for written records.
- In the fourth phase the Guardian ad litem discusses recommendations with each parents. The parents are then given the opportunity to meet together with the GaL with a goal towards building consensus.
- In the final phase (as necessary) a written report is prepared for the court detailing recommendations & the GaL participates in a final court hearing.
Fees: The fee for Guardian ad litem services is $100 per hour plus costs. A $3,000 retainer must be specified in the court order and paid by the parents prior to commencement of services. If hours exceed the amount of the retainer, an additional retainer is required for completion of services and may need court approval. Cash, check and credit card payments are accepted.