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What Is a Guardian Ad Litem?

Most people think of divorce as a process involving two people. However, the truth can be far more complicated than that. When parents divorce, their children also have the right to have their needs and perspectives considered. There are many different ways to protect children’s rights in divorce, from mediation with a family therapist to a court-appointed guardian ad litem (GAL).

If you are a parent who is considering or currently undergoing divorce, an experienced Raleigh divorce lawyer can help protect the legal rights of both you and your children. To learn more, call the offices of Marshall & Taylor PLLC at (919) 833-1040.

When a Guardian Ad Litem Is Needed

It is important to note that the term “guardian ad litem” can mean different things in different circumstances. North Carolina has an agency called the Guardian Ad Litem Program where adults volunteer to speak up for children whose parents have been accused of abuse. This is an important program, but not the topic of this article.

In a divorce, a GAL is a person who has been appointed to protect the children’s best interests while custody and child support arrangements are being made. He or she is usually an attorney, social worker, or licensed therapist. A court may decide to appoint a GAL in the following circumstances:

  • The divorce is highly contentious, and the parents have not been able to make reasonable arrangements for their children’s long-term care.
  • One or both parents are suspected of abusing or neglecting the children.
  • One or both parents request a GAL to resolve a dispute.

The precise role of a GAL can be complex, and regulations vary from place to place. Our Raleigh child custody attorneys can provide further information about GALs and other divorce-related issues.

Contact Us

The Raleigh divorce lawyers of Marshall & Taylor PLLC want to make sure our clients are fully informed about the options and resources available to them. To discuss how we can help you, contact us today at (919) 833-1040.