When a divorce is highly contested, the court may have a hard time determining what is in the best interests of the child. In order to understand what is going on in the child’s life, and to determine what is best for the child, the court can order a Guardian ad Litem for the case. While having a third party entering your case can seem scary, the attorneys at Ayers Family Law LLC can assist in explaining the Guardian ad Litem’s role for your child.
A Guardian ad Litem is not an attorney for the child. The Guardian ad Litem is an advocate. While the person appointed may be an attorney, they will not be acting in that capacity. Each Guardian ad Litem goes through rigorous education and training in order to appropriately advocate for the child.
Will the Court Appoint a Guardian ad Litem in My Case?
Whether or not a Guardian Ad Litem is appointed is at the discretion of the family court. Each family situation is unique and the court looks at the case in isolation to determine if a Guardian ad Litem is necessary. The South Carolina Children’s Code gives the court permission to appoint a Guardian ad Litem when parties are having a dispute about custody or visitation of a minor child and the court cannot get an accurate view of the facts. Especially in a hostile divorce, the court may feel that they need another set of eyes to determine what is best for the child and what the child’s needs and desires are.
What Does the Guardian ad Litem Actually Do?
The Guardian ad Litem will conduct their own investigation, which may include visits with the child, review of documents related to the child, interviewing persons relevant to the case, or any other action the Guardian ad Litem deems necessary. They may visit your home but are not required to. The Guardian ad Litem will come to visitation and custody court hearings to give findings and make suggestions relating to the best interests of the child. Only the court will determine who should have custody and visitation with the child. The Guardian ad Litem will not make specific recommendations as to who should have custody.
Is the Guardian ad Litem Judging my Parenting?
The Guardian ad Litem is not involved to tell you how to parent your child. The main goal of the Guardian ad Litem is to assist the court, and the parties, in creating the best post-divorce life for your child. Although it may seem intrusive, the Guardian is an asset to all involved in the case. The Guardian ad Litem is there to advocate for your child, not prosecute your parenting.
Contact a Family Law Attorney
If you are in need of family law assistance, contact the experienced attorneys of Ayers Family Law LLC in the greater Charleston area. Our attorneys can successfully guide you through even the most difficult case.