Guardians Ad Litem with Jill Plancher

You’ve most likely not heard of a Guardian ad Litem…and that’s a good thing. A GAL is all about giving the kids a voice in the courts. If you have such a nasty divorce that the kids are lost, this is what makes sure that their interests are covered. Usually the cost is split between parents but the appointment could be at no charge depending on financial means.

In 20% of cases, there is high conflict over the kids’ issues, and a parent or the court will appoint a GAL. It can happen early on, or even post judgement. The issues may be about mental health of a parent, special needs with the child, substance abuse, or domestic abuse. Those cases are hard to resolve.

Once a GAL is appointed, they will follow best practices that include meeting with each parent, and the children in their homes initially to build comfort. Children typically are grateful to have a voice in the divorce process, although it’s not a privileged conversation. The kids rarely appear in court to testify and the GAL does the speaking on behalf of the children as an advocate for their best interest.

About the Author Barb & Jo

Through the process of our own divorces, Barb Hazelton and Jo Briggs learned more than they ever needed or wanted to know. Through their friendship, shared experiences, and connections through navigating their own divorces, they created this video series. They've been where you are and they hope Single Process can make it easier for you by connecting you to their resources.