New Jersey courts have the right to appoint a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) at their discretion. This is representation for children in sensitive and challenging cases of child custody for the purposes of time and visitation. The reasons for this appointment can include issues like medical needs, one parent moving out of state and others. It is also within your right as a parent to request one if you feel it would serve your child. At Weinberg & Cooper LLC, we are here to make sure that your child’s best interests are kept in mind during divorce and custody cases.
Contrary to common conceptions of lawyers, a GAL is not appointed to represent the child, but to gather up information regarding the child’s well-being and current status in mental, family, and social matters. They will often interview the child, the parents and the family all at once in order to see how the child interacts with their parents. In order to collect as much useful information as possible, they can speak with child care providers, school personnel, and therapists. With this data, they provide written reports to the court with recommendations regarding the best-case options for any child’s well-being involved in the divorce case.
Divorce can feel messy and chaotic. For us adults, it can be stressful and for children, it might feel like the world is ending. But when your child’s well-being and peace of mind is in the balance, no amount of oversight is unnecessary. The courts will take their information and make the custody call that aligns best with both parents’ schedule and the child’s future.