You may have heard about guardian ad litem through someone else or the family court because you are about to have one assigned to your divorce case. This can naturally raise some concerns when you realize the guardian ad litem will be looking at the best interests of your child and will have a say on legal decisions for your child like child custody. When another person is going to investigate your household and the best interests of your child, this can leave you wondering what your rights are. Feel free to talk to a Tennessee Family Law lawyer to see what these rights are.
When Can a Guardian ad Litem Be Appointed to My Trial?
A guardian ad litem is appointed during a divorce trial when your child is a minor and there are additional circumstances that require their professional assistance. These include when your divorce trial involves disagreements with your spouse over child custody, child support, or any other legal decisions that will affect the children. Child abuse or neglect also mandates the use of a guardian ad litem.
You may be wondering who a guardian ad litem is and what kind of training they have to perform these duties. A guardian ad litem can be multiple professions. This professional may be a social worker, lawyer, psychologist, or a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). The CASA is essentially a community volunteer who has received training on how to engage in these obligations.
There are cases when a child who is old enough may be able to deem their parent as mentally incapacitated to care for them or any other child in the household. A guardian ad litem would help with this situation by investigating whether the parent has a mental disability or illness that prevents them from safely raising the child.
What Will the Guardian ad Litem Do?
First, the family court will appoint a guardian ad litem to your child. The court will also invoke certain limitations on what the guardian ad litem can do based on whether the dispute involves a conflict with child custody, support, or abuse. Guardian ad litem responsibilities include conducting an investigation on your household and writing a report on the findings.
The report will make recommendations on who the child should live with, decisions on visitation hours, which parent has certain rights over the child, and whether a parent can raise the child. When it comes to rights during all this, you can have a family lawyer review the report and then you can state in court what was left out. You can have other professionals like counselors who have seen your children testify on your behalf.
Family Law Lawyer in Tennessee
Hearing the news that a guardian ad litem is going to be assigned to your divorce case can be scary at first. Contact Davis Law Firm today by dialing 865-354-3333 to talk to a Family Law lawyer in Tennessee. Our offices are located in McMinnville, Johnson City, Sparta, Kingston, Crossville, Cookeville, and the surrounding areas. We will work with you to help you figure out your rights in this kind of situation.