A guardian ad litem may be appointed by the court to represent your child in your custody case or divorce. These attorneys are given the special role of representing your child’s point of view in the case. Guardians ad litem were created to ensure the court has all three points of view – that of each parent as well as that of the child. The guardian ad litem is not really a guardian and has no legal rights over your child. However, his or her job is to find out what is in the best interest of your child and share that with the court.
In New Jersey, the guardian ad litem works as the eyes and ears of the court. He or she will meet with you, your ex, and your child and may also interview other people relevant to the case such as teachers, doctors, therapists, and family members. The guardian ad litem submits a report to the court with his or her findings.
If a guardian ad litem is appointed to represent your child, you should follow these tips:
- Be friendly and welcoming. Your job is to get the guardian ad litem to like you and see you that you are a good parent. Put your best foot forward. Acting reticent and resentful will only hurt your case.
- Be honest. Whenever possible, be honest in your dealings with the guardian. If you are caught in a lie, it will just make you look bad.
- Remember that everything is on the record. Anything you tell the guardian ad litem can end up in his or her report.
- Get advice from your attorney. Your attorney likely knows the guardian who has been appointed and can offer you some tips about how to deal with him or her.
DeTorres & DeGeorge regularly handles all types of custody cases in Long Valley, New Jersey and the surrounding areas. Call us to schedule a consultation at 908-284-6005.