Guardian Ad Litem

How is a Guardian Ad Litem Selected?

Q: I am getting a divorce. My husband is asking for primary custody, even though he has not been the “on the ground” parent. My husband’s lawyer requested  the judge to appoint a GAL.  The judge told both attorneys to suggest individuals they wanted to be the Guardian Ad Litem in my case and he would choose from those names.  The judge did not select the Guardian my lawyer requested.  The Guardian the judge selected is a member of the same church as my husband.  I am afraid that the Guardian will recommend that my husband have primary custody.  This is not fair.  What should I do?

          It is understandable that you are concerned that the Guardian could be more receptive to your husband than he/she is toward you.  However, experienced Guardians will not be influenced by facts that are not connected to the case.  In smaller cities and towns, it is very probable that Guardians know the parties in their cases.  Judges may prefer one Guardian over another for many legitimate reasons.  Some of the reasons could be that one Guardian may have a lower hourly rate or that the judge is more familiar with certain Guardians and wants to use someone he/she has experience working with. You need to put your feelings aside and do your best to develop a “connection” with the chosen Guardian.  Complaining about fairness will not accomplish anything productive.

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