AD LITEM SERVICES
Our goal is always to protect your family dynamic first and foremost. We do not take a cookie-cutter approach to family law.
GUARDIAN AD LITEM
Adults tend to forget that when they are in family court their children may be too. In many cases, the need exists for a neutral third party to represent what is in the interest of a child or children in the family. This is the role of a Guardian ad Litem. Under Florida law (Florida Statutes §61.403), a guardian ad litem is a court-appointed representative who is tasked with acting as the ‘next friend of the child’. While their duty is to help protect the child’s best interests, a guardian ad litem is NOT a child’s ‘lawyer’ or ‘advocate’. Instead, it is better to think of a guardian ad litem as an investigator or an evaluator of the pending issues in the case.
The appointed Guardian is usually a family law attorney, therapeutic provider, or a trained pro bono volunteer from the county’s Guardian program. This person will conduct an investigation of the pending allegations or issues relating to the child and report back their findings to the Court. With the assistance of a Guardian, the Court can ensure it is fully informed of the needs of the child while making its rulings.
It is important when selecting a Guardian that the person chosen can relate to the child and understand how to best report back to the Court what is in the child’s best interest.