Preparing for a Guardian Ad Litem Meeting

If the court in your divorce case or custody cases ordered the appointment of a guardian ad litem, it is for the purpose of helping the court make a determination regarding child custody issues and visitation. If you know that your case has a guardian ad litem appointment, you may be curious about how to prepare for a guardian ad litem meeting. The following will help answer some questions regarding what a guardian ad litem typically asks and how best to prepare for this meeting.

What Should I do to Prepare for a Guardian Ad Litem Meeting?

You will want to take the time to prepare for your guardian ad litem meeting. While every guardian ad litem meeting will be different, you should consider the following highlights to ensure that you have the actual documents as well as the appropriate mindset going into the guardian ad litem meeting.

  • Always have a positive and cooperative perspective and attitude
  • Attempt to provide any requested documentation prior to your meeting with the guardian ad litem in order to make the entire process easier and show your willing cooperation
  • Never use this as an opportunity to say terrible things about the other parent of your child, especially when asked questions regarding why the relationship ended.
  • Take the time to carefully and accurately describe your relationship with your child and your current situation
  • Remember never to take any question that a guardian ad litem asks with offense or personally - they are simply attempting to find out what is in the best interest for your child
  • Bring all relevant and important documents to your meeting as well as a list of all people involved with your child on a regular basis
  • Bring contact information for all teachers, coaches and doctors
  • If the guardian ad litem asks questions about the other parent simply answer honestly and have actual examples to provide instead of just an overall generalized feeling
  • Always be respectful to the guardian ad litem, they are just doing their job in attempting to determine what is in the best interest for your child.
  • Never coach your child regarding what to say to the guardian ad litem

At the end of the day, you will want to make sure that you always fall back on the statement that you are wanting what is in the best interest of your child. While this entire process can seem scary and overwhelming, ultimately, the job of the guardian ad litem is to provide a recommendation regarding what will be in the best interest of your child. Give them the resources, information, documentation, and testimony they need in order to help them make their decision.

Do I Receive a Copy of the Guardian Ad Litem’s Report?

The entire process involving a guardian ad litem takes approximately 90-120 days. This will add three to four months to your entire divorce time. The guardian ad litem should give you a notification when the report is actually completed, which will be before the court hearing. If you do have a hearing coming up quickly, you have time to actually make an objection to the report and offer additional evidence to the court. If you fail to issue your objection before the court hearing, just bring all of your documentation and paperwork with you regarding your objections, along with copies. The judge has full discretion and authority to make a determination regarding whether or not they will allow your paperwork in court.

Do I Need Legal Counsel?

You are not legally required to have legal counsel for any part of a divorce process. However, one of the most important aspects to a divorce is the child custody schedule and the child support calculations. If you receive notice that a guardian ad litem is assigned to your case it means that the judge may have reservations about giving you custody of your children. In this case, you should seriously consider having legal representation in order to ensure the best possible chance to receive the most custody time with your children.

Contact an Experienced Divorce Attorney

There are several other legal matters that are included in the divorce process such as the possibility of the appointment of a guardian ad litem. If you make the decision to have legal counsel during this process, you can ensure your legal rights remain protected concerning your children and your financial interests. Contact an experienced divorce lawyer at Arnold & Smith, PLLC with offices in Charlotte, Monroe and Mooresville, North Carolina at 704.370.2828 or online today to schedule your consultation.