Domestic disputes are inherently emotional, as family relationships tend to be deep and complex. Divorce and child custody cases can be especially hard on children and vulnerable dependents. In some cases, Washington courts may appoint a guardian ad litem to protect the best interests of children caught in the middle of a custody, adoption, or other family law dispute. The guardian ad litem (GAL) performs a thorough investigation of the child’s situation and presents their findings, along with a recommendation, to the court. The GALs at Allen | Fischer PLLC are deeply committed to advocating for your child’s best interests. You can trust that we will leverage our considerable experience and time-honed skills to provide your child with the care, respect, and compassion they deserve during this challenging time.
Understanding the Role of the Guardian Ad Litem (GAL)
Depending on the specifics of the dispute, the court may assign a guardian ad litem to the case. Either party may also ask the court to appoint a GAL to their case, but it’s up to the judge to decide whether to grant this request. The GAL’s priority is protecting the child’s best interests. To accomplish this goal, they must gather as much information as possible to get a clear picture of the child’s home life. For instance, they will likely interview both parents about their parenting practices, their hopes for their child, their strengths and weaknesses as parents, and any other relevant information. They may speak with other adult figures in the child’s life (i.e., grandparents or teachers) who could shed additional light on what’s best for the child. Once the GAL has compiled a sufficient amount of information, they will file their report with the court.
Giving Your Child a Voice
Although the thought of having someone talk to you about your parenting style may sound intrusive or stressful, it’s essential to remember that the GAL only wants to determine what’s best for your child. Our GALs approach each family with the respect and compassion they deserve during this tumultuous time, empowering and advocating passionately on the child’s behalf. We will work with you to identify and establish the most solid and stable foundation possible to support your child and your family. We understand how stressful and chaotic a domestic dispute can be, which is why we strive to provide you with the support and guidance you need to move forward into a brighter future.