Using a Guardian Ad Litem to Your Advantage

Divorce disputes regarding time-sharing of the children can cause heavy tension between the divorcing spouses and their children. These disputes are often emotionally charged and can leave children in a helpless position, feeling as if they have no voice in their future living situation. When dealing with a spouse who is unwilling to compromise on child time-sharing issues, asking the court to appoint a guardian ad litem can help the children stop feeling left out and can give them a voice in the proceedings.

In Florida, a court may appoint a guardian ad litem to act as "next of friend" to the child. The guardian ad litem does not serve as an advocate or attorney for the child, but rather as an investigator or evaluator to assure the best interests of the child are presented to the court. In this role, the guardian ad litem has the power to interview and examine the child and other individuals having information that concerns the welfare of the child.

The guardian ad litem also acts as a counselor to the child to help the child cope with the idea of the parents' divorce. The guardian ad litem will talk with the child about any proposed parenting plan and inform the court of the child's thoughts and concerns. This voice can help by allowing the court to take into consideration the preferences and feelings of the child during a time-sharing dispute.

When dealing with a contentious child time-sharing issue, it may be important to request that a guardian ad litem be appointed to serve the best interests of the child and ensure a fair and equitable result for all parties involved. An experienced Pinellas County family law attorney can help assist a parent with having a guardian ad litem appointed to give your child a voice in child time-sharing issues and ease the tension placed on your child in a difficult situation.

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