There are many people involved in a single divorce case. These include the two spouses of course, their attorneys, a possible mediator, judge, and potentially a guardian ad litem (GAL). Divorcing couples typically understand most of these terms, but the possibility of enlisting the help of a GAL is often a new concept. A guardian ad litem is often used when a divorce involves children and as such, decisions need to be made regarding child custody.
A GAL in a divorce case will act as representation for the child. They are not an attorney, but they will communicate to the judge what is in the child’s best interests. GALs are not always required in divorce cases, but there are several reasons your attorney may suggest hiring one. The most common of these are listed below.
The Other Side is Being Unreasonable
It is not uncommon for one party in a divorce to act unreasonably. For example, your spouse may demand sole custody when there is no need to keep the child from you. If you are willing to act reasonably and take the child’s best interests into consideration, a GAL will see this. They will then report back to the judge that you are acting more reasonably and as such, you could receive better terms once the divorce is finalized.
It is Unclear What is Best for the Child
In some cases, both sides are so deeply committed to their argument that it becomes unclear what is best for the child. For example, your spouse may wish to move from the state once the divorce is finalized and wants to take the child with them. You of course, do not want your child to move because this will significantly limit the time you spend with them. It may be difficult in this case to determine if it is in the child’s best interests to move with the other parent, or remain with you. When issues such as these are present, a GAL will provide an unbiased and objective opinion about what is in the child’s best interests.
Help the Child Cope
Divorces are extremely difficult on the children involved. This is particularly true in contentious divorces when the parents cannot get along, or when the child has strong feelings about the parent they would like to live with after the divorce. In these cases, the GAL can act as a counselor to the child, which can make it easier for them to cope with the feelings they experience during the divorce. When a child tells a GAL that they would like to live with a certain parent, the GAL will also report this to the judge, who will take the GAL’s opinion very seriously.
Our Florida Family Lawyers can Help with All Aspects of Your Divorce
When going through a divorce, it is natural to not know what to expect. There are many different factors, and people, that may be involved in your divorce and often, spouses are not aware of them until they are in the middle of their divorce case. At All Family Law Group, P.A., our Tampa family law lawyers can tell you what to expect during your divorce, and give you the best chance of obtaining the fair settlement you deserve. Call us today at (813) 672-1900 to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help with your case.
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