Guardian ad Litem

In child custody or parental rights cases, the court will sometimes appoint a person to examine the situation a child is living in. This guardian ad litem helps the court find insight into what custody arrangement would be in the best interest of the child.

Commonly, a court will ask the guardian ad litem to look at a specific issue, such as drug use by one parent. This is called a limited-purpose appointment. Other times, the guardian ad litem will have the ability to make very broad suggestions about how the custody should be arranged.

The guardian ad litem will consider many different factors when making their recommendation, including the age of the child, the child’s wishes, the child’s relationship with each of their parents, and the environment and ability to make decisions for the child that each parent provides.

In some cases, parents will try to coach their children on what to say to a GAL. It is not in the best interest of the child to interfere in this way. Court appointed guardians ad litem have been trained to see signs of parental interference, and attempts to influence your child often result in a negative result.

A family law attorney in Howard County, Maryland can provide more information about guardians ad litem.