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Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  Attorney with 16 years experience
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What are the duties of a Guardian ad Liden? What are the guidlines

Customer Question

What are the duties of a Guardian ad Liden? What are the guidlines for a visit from the GAL, ahould these visits be announced?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 4 years ago.

A guardian ad litem is a court appointed guardian attorney whose job is to represent the interests of a minor or an incompetent adult in a legal proceeding.

Rule 8:6 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia defines the roles of counsel and of guardian ad litem when representing children as follows:
The role of counsel for a child is the representation of the child’s legitimate interests.
When appointed for a child, the guardian ad litem shall vigorously represent the child,
fully protecting the child’s interest and welfare. The guardian ad litem shall advise the court of the wishes of the child in any case where the wishes of the child conflict with the opinion of the guardian ad litem as to what is in the child’s interest and welfare
While some in home visits from the GAL may be announced, as part of their investigation into any type of placement and report to the court, they can make unannounced visits to ensure the accuracy of their report. In situations where the custodian has been notified in advance, they sometimes "stage" the home so that it is not a true reflection of the environment that the child lives in.
So typically, it is best to be pleasant and endure the visits. After a couple unannounced visits, the GAL should be satisfied as to the environment and then can report back to the court.






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