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What Does Guardian and Guardian Ad Litem Mean in A Child Custody Case?

Guardian and Guardian Ad Litem Definition | Attorney Jeffrey M. Bloom, NJ

Many times guardians are appointed in family court for cases involving contested visitation, child custody, termination of a parent’s rights, or where there is abuse and/or neglect. These individuals are considered guardians ad litem, and they do not hold the same role as a guardian, who makes decisions for a child.

What Are The Differences Between A Guardian And A Guardian Ad Litem

The Role of A Guardian In A Child Custody Situation

  • Guardians are only appointed if the child’s parents lose their parental rights, become incapacitated, or die.
  • Parents can select guardians in a will or through a written document that is filed with the courts.
  • A guardian is someone who has the legal authority to make decisions (financial and personal) on behalf of a child or an incapacitated parent.

The Role Of A Guardian Ad Litem In A Child Custody Situation

  • The role of the guardian ad litem is to advocate for the child’s best interest and to also serve as an “investigator and reporter” of sorts in child custody cases. The guardian will spend time with the child and the family to observe the child’s environment and the behavior of the parents. The guardian will then report his or her findings to the court.
  • Most times, but not always, the Guardian Ad Litem is an attorney and may be selected by the attorneys of both parties.
  • He or she cannot provide written child custody recommendations within his or her final report.

Contact Child Visitation and Custody Attorney Jeffrey M. Bloom, West New York

Mr. Jeffrey M. Bloom is a child custody, family law and workers’ compensation attorney, with office in the West New York. Mr. Bloom’s expertise in family law will aid you in your pending divorce and give you the support and guidance you need. Call Mr. Bloom at (855) 208-3650 for a consultation.

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