Ask A Lawyer

Tell Us Your Case Information for Fastest Lawyer Match!

Please include all relevant details from your case including where, when, and who it involoves.
Case details that can effectively describe the legal situation while also staying concise generally receive the best responses from lawyers.


By submitting this lawyer request, I confirm I have read and agree to the Consent to Receive Email, Phone, Text Messages, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy. Information provided may not be privileged or confidential.

The role of a guardian ad litem in a Georgia divorce

by Vic Brown Hill on Oct. 31, 2017

 General Practice 

Summary: If you are beginning the divorce process with minor children in tow, you can expect custody issues to rank among the issues that dominate discussions. In some cases, a Georgia judge may choose to appoint a guardian ad litem.

If you are beginning the divorce process with minor children in tow, you can expect custody issues to rank among the issues that dominate discussions. In some cases, a Georgia judge may choose to appoint a guardian ad litem.

GALs can play a major role in custody and parenting issues before the court. Knowing how the process works can help you stay informed and work to do what is best for your children.

Who can be a GAL

Judges may appoint a GAL to act in a case that involves the issue of the custody or welfare of a child. Many GALs are attorneys, but that is not a requirement; they may be mental health professionals or other professionals who qualify for the position and have completed proper training by the Office of the Child Advocate or an approved organization.

What kinds of cases need a GAL

Not every case with a custody dispute will need a GAL. Generally, courts appoint a GAL when there is a major dispute about who should get custody or be primary caretaker, or when one parent's ability to safely parent is in question.

What the GAL does

The GAL's task is to undertake a thorough investigation of all factors that pertain to the issue of custody or of any allegations of being an unfit parent. They may look into the child's background, family conditions, schooling and anything else that would help them determine what arrangements would be best for the child.

In the course of the investigation, the GAL may need to obtain a written release or a court order in order to view confidential records. The GAL may also direct the child or the parents to get a physical or mental health evaluation if necessary. They may interview relatives, teachers and the child, and visit the child's home.

Making the recommendation

When the GAL completes the investigation, he or she writes a report for the court detailing the findings and making a recommendation as to what custody or visitation arrangements would be best for the child. If the GAL recommends against one of the parents, that parent can have the opportunity to refute the recommendation later.


Legal Articles Additional Disclaimer

Lawyer.com is not a law firm and does not offer legal advice. Content posted on Lawyer.com is the sole responsibility of the person from whom such content originated and is not reviewed or commented on by Lawyer.com. The application of law to any set of facts is a highly specialized skill, practiced by lawyers and often dependent on jurisdiction. Content on the site of a legal nature may or may not be accurate for a particular state or jurisdiction and may largely depend on specific circumstances surrounding individual cases, which may or may not be consistent with your circumstances or may no longer be up-to-date to the extent that laws have changed since posting. Legal articles therefore are for review as general research and for use in helping to gauge a lawyer's expertise on a matter. If you are seeking specific legal advice, Lawyer.com recommends that you contact a lawyer to review your specific issues. See Lawyer.com's full Terms of Use for more information.