In its capacity as a guardian ad litem/attorney for children, D&O serves to assist the parties or the Court with investigating and resolving child custody and parenting time disputes. In doing so, D&O’s primary role and objective is to advocate for their best interests of the children at issue.
- To protect children.
- To preserve relationships between children and both parents.
- To decrease parental conflict.
- To provide timely services.
- To reduce litigation costs.
- To be objective.
- To develop creative solutions.
- To empower parents to resolve future disputes.
- Conduct an investigation, which may include:
- Interviewing both parents, as well as each person having important knowledge of the child’s history, circumstances and significant events impacting the child.
- Meeting with the child to determine his/her needs, perspective and views.
- Obtaining and reviewing the child’s medical, social services, psychological, psychiatric, law enforcement, school and other relevant records.
- Identify appropriate family or other professional services for the child.
- Provide a written report with findings and recommendations regarding the best interests of the child.
- Negotiate settlement and encourage the use of alternative forms of dispute resolution as a way to avoid ongoing litigation between the parents.
- Attend legal proceedings and assist the Court with reaching the proper resolution of the dispute.
- A guardian ad litem is objective and advocates for the child, not either parent.
- Utilizing a guardian ad litem may greatly reduce the cost of litigation for the parents.
- A guardian ad litem protects the relationship between the child and both parents.
- A guardian ad litem can provide creative solutions to problems to maximize the benefits to the child.
- A guardian ad litem can provide solutions that reduce conflict and empower parents to resolve future disputes on their own.
- Using a guardian ad litem can be less costly than a custody evaluation, or can assist an evaluator in identifying important relevant facts to assist in providing recommendations.