An Ohio divorce is rarely easy, and child custody disputes can raise heated emotions, causing significant fights. Sometimes, parents are unable to adequately agree on what is best for their child, and the matter has to be heard by a court. When this happens, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem to the case. The guardian ad litem helps the court determine what actions and arrangements are suited to support the best interests of the child. But, what is an Ohio guardian ad litem?
A guardian ad litem represents a child in a legal proceeding. Their sole role is to protect the best interests of the child by providing the court with reports about their current situation. Guardian ad litems often conduct home visits to determine how a child is handling a certain living arrangement. They also talk with the child outside of court to discuss how they feel about their current living situation, and if they feel that a change would be better for them.
In other words, it is helpful to think of a guardian ad litem as the courts eyes and ears. In a contentious custody battle, a guardian ad litem can give a judge an unbiased look at what is best for the child. Though guardian ad litems are often used in cases involving abuse and neglect, they can be appointed during a divorce proceeding as well.
Fighting to retain or obtain parenting time or custody of one's child can be heart-wrenching. A party to the divorce may feel that he or she is best suited to care for the child, and it can be easy to feel like losing custody is permanent. But, child custody is rarely permanent as changing situations can give rise to an agreement modification. Therefore, when someone finds him or herself considering challenging custody or parenting time, it is often helpful to discuss the matter with an Ohio legal professional.
Source: Law.Cornell.edu, "Guardian Ad Litem," accessed on July 18, 2015